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Redshift Associates to develop innovative air pollution service for UK smart city harbours and ports

NEWS: Redshift Associates signs up to SPRINT to develop an innovative new service for modelling and mapping air pollution for UK harbours and ports

Will collaborate with University of Leicester, funded by SPRINT programme

Leicestershire-based start-up company, Redshift Associates has signed up to the national SPRINT business support programme to develop an innovative new service that will model and map air pollution for UK harbours and ports. Redshift Associates and the University of Leicester are collaborating to develop analytic solutions that extract operational information on shipping from remote sensing data from the marine Automatic Identification System (AIS). This will enable the company to determine pollution emissions in real-time from shipping underway or in harbour.

Through this feasibility study for the new service, the project team is working in partnership with Belfast Harbour to evaluate pollution emissions from shipping and other industrial activity to make an assessment of the overall atmospheric emissions inventory within the Harbour Estate. Redshift Associates’ review of Belfast Harbour’s air quality inventory will identify measures that will support an air quality action plan in line with their strategic vision to be a green port and an iconic waterfront for the city.

The SPRINT project is expected to contribute to the development of a space-enabled, commercial monitoring service for ports and harbours for maximising energy saving, pollution reduction, de-carbonisation and transition to renewable energy options for port operations.

The University of Leicester is providing data analytics support on the acquisition, formatting and processing of the raw shipping and road traffic data. The University will also develop new analytical processes for combining AIS and air quality data to provide new information on shipping pollution emissions that are time resolved, geospatially identified and aggregated for shipping traffic movements in harbour approaches and ports.

The project will be funded by a grant from the £4.8 million SPRINT (SPace Research and Innovation Network for Technology) programme that provides unprecedented access to university space expertise and facilities. SPRINT helps businesses through the commercial exploitation of space data and technologies.

Professor Alan Wells, Founder and Director of Redshift Associates said: “The issue of air quality is one of the core challenges being addressed and explored by smart city strategies. Air quality and energy consumption are the highest environmental priorities for European ports according to the environmental report for 2019 of the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO).”

“Redshift Associates is bringing together new approaches to air pollution in ports and harbours through satellite remote sensing. The basis of our collaboration with the University of Leicester, through the SPRINT programme, is its support in taking the visual data and applying a high level of validation and interpretation. This approach adds immense value by appreciating the ways in which you can apply analytics to a large amount of remote sensing data and turn that into applications with high commercial value.”

Jeremy Levesley, Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Leicester added: “The use of data is often the last thing that people think about and a particular challenge is curating data in such a way that you can make sense of it in the most effective way. Working with Redshift Associates, the university is helping to apply maths skills and technology tools to the collection, analysis and processing of the data.

“Multi-disciplinary work such as this SPRINT project is so important to our team at the university. We listen to the problems of others, apply our expertise and transform their thinking into viable solutions.”

Trevor Anderson, Belfast Harbour’s Director of Infrastructure and Business Transformation said: “This is a ground-breaking project which supports two of Belfast Harbour’s core objectives to be both a smart and a green port. We’ve already embarked upon a sustainability strategy which includes de-carbonising our energy uses and digital real time monitoring for air quality within the Belfast Harbour Estate. The Redshift initiative will help enhance our commitment to uphold the highest environmental standards through innovative technology.”

Picture caption:
‘Bro Nyborg’ and ‘Stena Mersey’, Belfast harbour (April 2019)
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