A radar that measures the quality of the air

Keep an eye out because a super radar is going to start working in the streets
of Madrid. A device capable of measuring the pollution of each vehicle.

A company in Madrid called Opus RSE is going to start the project and they have
shown us how it works. The device makes the measurements of each vehicle that
passes by, then they analyzes all the gasses the vehicle exhausts. This shows all
the pollution each car emits.

All the information will be directed to town halls and the DGT to let them know the
emissions each car emits, even if the car has been manipulated.

Madrid, test field for a new «super-radar»


A Spanish company tests two pieces of equipment capable of measuring the particles, the nitrogen and the CO2 of each vehicle, in addition to its speed. It will allow to detect irregular practices on the part of the owners, such as disassembly of the catalyst and generalized frauds, such as the Dieselgate.


 Road traffic accounts for up to 70% of emissions in urban areas, a problem that the different administrations have approached in a very different way, restricting, for example, the access of vehicles to the central areas in town according to whether their license plate is even or odd.


This inefficient measure, which does not allow to discriminate the vehicles that pollute the most, could have its days counted, not only by the new environmental labels of the   DGT (**department of general traffic**), which classify the park according to is pollution potential, but also thanks to new radars capable of accurately measuring the emissions produced during the normal circulation of the vehicle. These new machines, which will be tested for two years in Madrid, detected not only serial irregularities, but also modifications made to the vehicle by its owner.




"The goal is to avoid unfair policies and give the driver the assurance that his vehicle will not be limited accordingto his license plate or fuel", explains Javier Buhigas, Head of Consulting at Opus RSE. This Spanish company isone of the five factors involved in the project, in which the Cartif technological center, the DGT and the Ciemat also collaborate. In addition, it is covered by the European Union under the Gystra umbrella, which seeks sustainable management of emissions.


«It not only measures the pollutants like CO2  emitted by gasoline cars, nitrogen emitted by diesel cars and other
particles-, but also allows us to quantify the savings and effectiveness of each traffic control measure" says Buhigas.
This system would also allow locating effectively the most polluting cars, and repairing or removing them from the
roads. According to Ciemat data, 5% of the most polluting vehicles account for 30% of emissions. Of that 5%,
one third have less than five years.



EU Agreement to tighten rules for safer and cleaner cars

Last December 7th, the European Commission decided to include Remote Sensing into the new Type Approval framework legislation. The EU co-legislators have reached an agreement on the Commission proposal from January 2016 to fully overhaul the EU 'type-approval' framework. You can find the European Commission’s Press Release in the following link.


The RSD technology shall be used by the Member States in two specific applications:


  1. Detection of defeat devices (mainly in heavy duty trucks), which national authorities have a standing obligation to police and enforce.
  2. Massive monitoring of the real-driving emissions of on-road traffic, to detect non-compliant vehicles on EU roads.



Remote Sensing is identified by the Commission as a tool for screening the environmental performance of in-service fleet.


Car Exhaust: The Potential of Remote Sensing

Last 28th of September 2017, an event was held in the European Parliament to address how the Remote Sensing technology can prevent a future ‘Dieselgate’ in Europe. The event was hosted by the chair of the former inquiry committee into automotive emissions, Kathleen Van Brempt, who encouraged all countries into the use of Remote Sensing.

Validated, certified and reliable technology

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) presented their independent analysis of Opus RSE’s RSD technology. Dr. Pierre Bonnel, Director of Sustainable Transport Unit in the Joint Research Centre (JRC), showed that the technology correlates almost 1:1 with PEMs:

“RSD Instrumentation measurement performance was verified under real-world conditions. It exhibited excellent correlation with the references for CO and NO, within wide ranges”.

Other scientific groups also praised the remote sensing technology, showing its reliability and its potential for in-service vehicle emissions screening. Every message was in favor of this technology and there was a total consensus of its immediate use.

The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), the Swedish Environmental Research Institute, the University of York and others, presented results of RSD measurements that clearly show how real-driving emissions are highly above the European limits.

On-road inspections and fair policies

The European Commission remarked that on-road emissions inspections must be done by every EU country. Periodic Technical Inspections has proven to be insufficient to detect vehicles with bioth tampering and defeat devices. Opus RSE’s technology is small, portable and is deployed in minutes. It is perfect for on-road inspections as the authorities can detect high emitting vehicles changing the measuring locations frequently, without being discovered by the drivers.

Greg Archer, Director of Clean Vehicles team in Transport & Environment (T&E), declared in Brussels that fining vehicles depending on the vehicle’s age or vehicle’s Euro Standard is not a fair, neither correct, air quality policy. Local authorities must measure empirically the real-driving emissions in their cities and act on proven high-emitters.

The Type Approval regulation P8_TA[2017]0097 already defines “specific obligations for national authorities to include […] results of remote sensing testing”. Panagiota Dilara, Policy Officer for Motor Vehicle Emissions at the commission's industry directorate, emphasized on the role of remote sensing for in-service conformity testing and defeat device detection: "Remote Sensing is a powerful tool", said Dilara.


After the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal, the EU parliament called on member states to "establish remote fleet monitoring schemes" by using roadside remote sensing equipment. The health of millions of people is at stake.



The EU sanctions does not rule out fraud scam Countries Emissions

  • The EU does not rule out sanctions against countries with fraud emissions.
  • Volkswagen blame the scandal on a small group of employees.

Investigations into the scandal Volkswagen tone up . Brussels does not rule open infringement procedures against those countries that have carried out fraudulent checks nitrogen emissions in cars. The authorities , however , expect to have detailed information on each country before taking any decision, according to European sources consulted . The European Commission recognizes that long known the existence of devices capable of handling vehicle emissions to reduce pollution during laboratory tests . "So the ban in 2007," the executive arm of the Union defends . The EU washes his hands about : attributed to the national authorities control laboratories where these tests are carried out pollution .

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Public encouraged to measure pollution with smartphones

Inhabitants of several European cities have been invited to use their smartphones to measure air pollution.

Between 1 September and 15 October, citizens of Athens, Barcelona, Belgrade, Berlin, Copenhagen, London, Manchester, Milan and Rome can join the European iSPEX project to help monitor air quality in their cities.

iSPEX distributes small devices that can be attached to every regular smartphone, turning it into an optical sensor.

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