University of the West of England, Bristol


UMBRELLA AQ: Developing a dense air quality network to improve health, transport and planning policy

UMBRELLA AQ is a dense, multi pollutant, multi layered, multi-location air quality monitoring network designed by UWE Bristol working with Toshiba and South Gloucestershire Council. The network spans over 7km of Bristol’s northern ring-road, within South Gloucestershire.

UMBRELLA AQ integrates high quality, medium quality, and low-cost sensing devices into one network enabling instrument performance comparison in place and over time. The partnership designed, refined, and deployed over 2000 environmental sensors along the road situated at 200 nodes, to measure concentrations of particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and noise, all of which are harmful to our health and wellbeing. Coupled with the deployment of high-end reference analysers, the network allows us to assess the concentrations of pollutants and develop mitigation measures to reduce its impact on our health and wellbeing.

Interpretation of air quality concentrations is supported by a high-quality meteorological station incorporated into the reference station. In turn this supports assessment of the meteorological sensors in the wider network.

Top 3 Learnings

  1. Collaborations and partnerships can generate the most impactful outcomes.
  2. We’ve learnt that through innovation in sensor deployment we can analyse and better understand the fine scale temporal and spatial variation in air pollutant concentration.
  3. Developing the instrumented campus for health and environmental protection.
3 - Good Health and Well-Being 9 - Industry Innovation and Infrastructure 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities 13 - Climate Action
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