AirQUIS Overview    March 21, 2018  English (United Kingdom) Español (España)
AirQUIS - What is it all about?

The AirQUIS system was developed by institutions dealing with air pollution, information technology and geographical information systems (GIS). The combination of on-line data collection, statistical evaluations and numerical modelling enable the user to obtain information, carry out forecasting and future planning of air quality.

The system can be used for monitoring and to estimate environmental impacts from planned measures to reduce air pollution.

The AirQUIS system contains the following modules:

  • Geographical Information System (GIS)
  • Automatic Data Acquisition System (ADACS)
  • Measurement
  • Statistical and Graphical Presentation Tools
  • Emission Inventory
  • Emission Model
  • Wind Model
  • Dispersion Model
  • Exposure Model
  • On-line measurement system

    A measurement system of modern on line sensors for selected air pollution indicators can be designed specific for the area concerned.


    Data Logger
    A specially designed data logger for meteorology and air quality is included in the system. The logger is robust and may serve as a local backup storage in case of line break down. The measurements are automatically transferred from the monitoring sites to a central data base for quality control.

    Data quality control is performed at different levels in the data collection process; in field during automatic and manual calibrations and controls, at the central data collection base, and in the approvals of the final storage database, where statistics and data graphics are used to check the validity and representativity of the data.

    The emission inventory database
    A modern database for the air pollution emission inventory has been developed. The emission module is a flexible system containing a user friendly map oriented inter phase to treat the main sources for emission to air such as industry, traffic, energy (consumption of fossil fuels) and emissions related to other mobile sources such as airport and harbour activities.

    The industry emission module allows the user to select sources related to specific activities or areas. The time variation of emissions can be entered specific for each source or for groups of sources. Based on emission factors, emissions can be calculated from consumption data.

    The traffic module is the most complex part of the emission module, includes road types, vehicle type distribution, traffic time variation and emission factors dependent on parameters such as vehicle type, traffic speed and road type.

    Atmospheric dispersion models
    The models included in the AirQUIS system covers air pollution on all scales; along streets and roads, industrial emissions, gridded pollution from household etc. within the urban areas and on a regional scale.

    The NILU developed source oriented numerical dispersion model EPISODE calculates spatial distribution of hourly concentrations of SO2, NOX, NO2 and suspended particles. The NILU models ROADAIR and CONTILENK are used to estimate sub grid concentrations close to roads within the square grid. A puff-trajectory model, INPUF, is used to calculate the influence of point sources. All model results are displayed using the integrated GIS Module.

    Based on concentration calculations and population distribution, exposure estimates for human health can be performed. The exposure estimates can be related to air quality guidelines or other air quality indicators used for the component considered.

    The Geographical Information System
    The integrated geographical information system is used as a platform for integrating the presentation of measurements, emission inventory and results from model estimates. The geographical information system is directly linked to the databases, from which statistical evaluations, graphical presentations and spatial distributions of emissions and model results can be presented.

    Air Quality Planning
    One main application of the AirQUIS system will be as an effective tool for air quality abatement strategy. The contribution of air pollution from different source categories such as traffic, household and industry to the population exposure in an urban area can be calculated based upon data on emissions, dispersion and population distribution. Different recommended measures to reduce air pollution can be evaluated due to population exposure and cost-benefit or cost-efficiency analyses. A priority list of the selected measures can be developed, taking into account air pollution exposure, health aspects and related costs.

    AirQUIS History

    The development of an integrated environmental information system started at NILU in 1992. The first major demonstration of an operational system was presented during the Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer 1994.

    ENSIS was developed as a management and decision support system for environmental issues. ENSIS has been developed by Norwegian Research Institutes and included AirQUIS, which was an air pollution related module and WaterQUIS for water quality topics. The system also included a module for cost estimated of materiel damages "CorrCOST".

    The system was developed as a management tool for planners, as an information tool for the public and as an expert system for specialists.

    The ENSIS group consisted of the following institutions:

    • Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU)
    • Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA)
    • NORGIT senteret A.S. (NORGIT)
    • InterConsult (ICG)

    The ENSIS system contained in addition to AirQUIS and WaterQUIS common modules that are shared by air and water specific parts of the program system. Important common parts are the measurement database, and the graphical user interface including the GIS (geographical information system).

    From 1999 NILU wanted to upgrade and further develop the AirQUIS system into a more modulated and user-friendly system. This system is now being presented to the international marked.

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