URPOLSENS - Wireless SENSor Networks for URban POLlution Monitoring (2015)

Scientific coordinator: Walid Bechkit (CITI) – walid.bechkit@insa-lyon.fr
Disciplines: ITC – Fluid Mechanics – Sociology – Anthropology – Geography
Partners: TUBA – Atmo Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes



Monitoring air pollution is an issue of major importance. Today, knowledge about concentrations of pollutants is obtained by combining models of road traffic, weather, etc. and precise measurements taken by a few stations but very costly and therefore few in number. This results in estimates of average pollution levels on a very large scale.
The emergence of air quality sensors, less precise but at a more reasonable cost, suggests we may be on the brink of a paradigm shift. Thanks to the wireless network interconnection of these sensors, we can envisage monitoring urban pollution as close as possible to citizens.
The UrPolSens project focuses on the characterisation of air pollution with a detailed spatial granularity thanks to the use of wireless sensor networks.


  • Improve the detailed characterisation models of air pollution at the local level;
  • Propose the most effective deployment models for wireless sensor networks for monitoring pollution.
  • Deploy a wireless sensor network for monitoring pollution as proof of concept;
  • Compete real exposure levels to perceived exposure levels;
  • Study spatial disparities of exposure between urban areas.

The approach involves both the analytical modelling of pollution dispersion and experimentation based on the deployment of a wireless sensor network architecture.
The primary expected result of the UrPolSens project is to generate new knowledge about the detailed characterisation of air pollution in cities by modelling.
The second result will be the development of decision-making assistance tools to determine the most effective positions of the sensor nodes in a city. A test architecture will also be deployed and detailed data on pollution made available and exploited for the analysis of spatial disparities. Other positive effects will also be obtained downstream of this project, by providing local authorities and spatial planning operators with methodologies and tools enabling them to successfully design urban planning in order to reduce the pollution and the inequalities of exposure to populations.