Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Smart sensing system for sinister smells

Researchers have created an information system that crowd-sources information about odours that are troubling citizens. The development will help to better mitigate these public annoyances.
Smart sensing system for sinister smells
Industry and agriculture are responsible for producing unpleasant odours that can trouble citizens in urban areas. It is important, therefore, to understand how citizens are affected by bad smells in their communities.

The EU-funded project OMNISCIENTIS (Odour monitoring and information system based on citizen and technology innovative sensors) has made significant inroads in this regard, with the aim of mitigating odour annoyance.

To begin with, OMNISCIENTIS documented the ideal specifications for odour measurement, dispersion modelling and information technologies. In parallel, the needs and expectations of citizens, regulatory authorities and industrial bodies were taken into consideration.

Citizens provided feedback on odour acceptability levels through smartphones. Over 5 000 observations were made, and this information was combined with measurements from e-noses and odour dispersion models.

Two in situ e-nose sensors and a meteorological station were installed as a pilot in an industrial site in Belgium. Eighteen industrial parameters were collected in real time, and 15 odour field surveys have been conducted to understand odour sources and characteristics.

Based on this data, project members developed a prototype Odour Information System that produces statistics and impact levels for local authorities, and allows citizens to give feedback. The mobile application is now operational and used by some 20 guards around the Belgian test site.

Researchers adapted an existing pollutant dispersion model to develop a fast odour dispersion modelling system using real-time meteorological and industrial emissions data. The model was validated with the odour emission rates, along with electronic and citizen observations.

The OMNISCIENTIS project has used smart technology to advance odour data collection practices and make it easier for local authorities to manage odour problems. One of the new earth observation systems, can be seen in the project's video.

Related information


Information system, odours, innovative sensors, dispersion modelling, e-nose sensors, citizen observations
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