8.2   High resolution air mapping tool for the oil sands region in Alberta

Long Fu, AEMERA and Daniel Spitzer, A-Maps





In a joint effort, Alberta Environment Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Agency and A-MAPS Environmental recently developed and implemented a software tool designed for fast and easy access to the historical and real time Air Quality (AQ) information across the province of Alberta. Special attention is paid to the information processing over the oil sands area. The tool comprises software applications that are based on novel AQ monitoring technologies, such as integration of atmospheric satellite remote sensing with ground level monitoring measurements through geospatial and dispersion modeling. The applications are controlled through intuitive Graphical User Interfaces (GUI), which enable direct interactive displaying, manipulation and analysis of the AQ data in mapping (GIS), numerical and time series formats. In the software, processes are embedded that include acquisitionof relevant ground level and satellite data, geo- statistical and dispersion modeling as well as formatting the outputs.

Methodology embedded in the AQ mapping tool is explained. Examples of GUI screenshots are presented and described, regarding the mapping and analysis of historical AQ data across the area of oil sands, time series of the air pollutant concentrations for a selected period of time, top-down modeling of the emission rates as well as forecasting the air pollutant concentration levels up to 24 hours ahead. Intuitive functionality of the GUI is described. Since new atmospheric satellite missions are planned (TROPOMI, TEMPO) with improved spectral, spatial and temporal resolution, it can be expected that the use of the atmospheric satellite remote sensing will expand in the future.




Daniel Spitzer studied Physics at the Technical University of Eindhoven. He received a PhD degree at the University of Groningen (the Netherlands). He continued his work on environmental spectroscopy as scientist at the Netherlands Institute for Sea Research. Later he became the head of the Remote Sensing Section at the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation, dealing with environmental applications of satellite earth observations. During his career, D. Spitzer fulfilled managerial positions at R&D departments of international corporations in the Netherlands and in Canada. In 2006 he established A-MAPS Environmental Inc., a successful SME focused on development of modern environmental monitoring methods. He has provided presentations at numerous conferences, has four filed patents and published more than sixty technical/scientific papers in international journals.