SMHI and NILU develop system for easier collection of air quality data

The demand in Air quality management systems is rising, and in the same time several countries struggle with management of these data. Commissioned by the The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA or Naturvårdsverket), SMHI has been developing such a system for years. Now, together with the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, (NILU), SMHI will develop the next generation’s system.

Collecting the Air Quality information from measurement instruments is an obvious need. However the proper management of such data is not obvious. Each country that aims to monitor the state of Air Quality relies on some usually complex IT systems. In addition, the EU members and pre-accession countries are required to report periodically, and in real-time, such data. This complexity is quite challenging in countries that recently accessed to the EU or are in the process to.

SMHI is developing such Air Quality management system for The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA or Naturvårdsverket) in the Swedish framework since several years and is willing to provide adding value components for statistical analysis in a data transparency goal. Since 2017 SMHI and SEPA, on the behalf of SIDA, are undertaking a project in Bosnia and Hercegovina for supporting the sister authorities in the upgrade of their Air Quality monitoring and related data management.

Development of a new generation of data collection system for air quality

It has now been decided that SMHI will join efforts to the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) in the development of the second generation of the Air Quality Management System; named Raven.

The existing generation of Raven is an open source web based Air Quality data validation and EU e-reporting system. It is designed with several modules that aim to control the flow and the quality of the monitoring data, including the metadata inventory. The e-reporting functionalities are for now limited to the needs of the pre-accession countries. The system was originally developed by NILU, with support from 4sFera, on the behalf of the European Environmental Agency. The application is both easy to use and easy to install.

  • The awaited Raven system will have user right management on network level. This functionality would be really helpful to share the controls on data within teams.
  • The e-reporting will be extent to the additional dataflow provided by EU members. This extension would strengthen the long-term potential for even more countries.
  • A new aggregation module made from the SMHI’s one will offer statistical analysis. This module will meet the need of sister authorities to conduct such investigations.
  • A dissemination web-application will be outlined and possibly implemented after. This would help the communities to adapt and care to the environment.
  • Last but not least, open-source data logger software will be developed further for the main analyzers. Such open-source data logger software, able to push the data from the measurement stations, to Raven would be both easy to use and quite inexpensive.

– We really believe that this air quality data hosting system, promoted by the European Environmental Agency and developed open source can be a game changer for the West Balkan countries by creating a sustainable data management and dissemination system, says Frank Vand Der Stelt, system developer, SMHI.

Cheaper, reliable and transparent data management system

The European Environmental Agency and partners believes that developing an open-source system together with a growing community of users and developers will ensure it self-maintenance in long-term perspective.