ABU DHABI - The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) will start remotely monitoring vehicle emissions on the roads of Abu Dhabi with cutting-edge technology.

EAD has partnered with 4 Earth Intelligence Environmental Consultancy and Hager Environmental & Atmospheric Technologies of the US, and will use HEAT’s EDAR (Emissions Detection and Reporting) system, which is a NASA Spinoff remote-sensing technology that detects and quantifies emissions in real-time.

The three-week test will be carried out in six locations in Abu Dhabi. The non-intrusive technology will enable EAD to determine the quantity and types of gases being emitted from moving vehicles in real-time, as well as the vehicle license plate number (for technical information only, no personal data will be used).

This initiative is part of the Integrated Air Quality Management Program established by EAD and will provide a baseline for future policies, help identify major emitting vehicles and technologies, support the design of mitigation measures, and enhance research and innovation.

The study will also establish the input data for air quality modelling, develop local air and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission factors, while enhancing academic research and innovation projects.

Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), said, "Our main focus at EAD is to ensure the highest quality of life for everyone in Abu Dhabi, including the air quality. The vehicle emissions project is a significant step towards realizing the Abu Dhabi government's vision of making the city one of the most livable in the world.

"The transport sector contributes to air pollutants, and this project will help us make well-informed decisions based on the latest research. The use of advanced remote-sensing technology will allow us to gather real-time data without disrupting traffic and use the accumulated data to design mitigation plans and programs that will reduce emissions and improve residents' safety and well-being."

David Critchley, CEO of 4EI, stated that the company is honored to collaborate with EAD and HEAT on this crucial project. He highlighted EAD's commitment to cleaner air, as they aim to be the first government agency to introduce this innovative technology in the GCC region. 4EI is committed to using remote sensing services for the betterment of the planet and humanity.

Yolla Hager, President of HEAT, said that the joint venture is vital in setting Abu Dhabi on a path to even greater environmental success. She emphasized the importance of working together, with both public and private sectors, to improve air quality by reducing harmful vehicle emissions.

EAD is also partnering with Abu Dhabi Police, Department of Municipalities and Transport, Integrated Transport Center, and Monitoring and Control Center. Abu Dhabi Police will be responsible for traffic management during the monitoring and data collection, DMT will provide permits for EDAR equipment and manage authorizations, ITC will coordinate traffic flow information and site recommendations, and EAD will process the collected data and coordinate with the concerned authorities. The data collected will be analyzed to provide recommendations to reduce air pollution caused by vehicles.

"Our partners are fully supportive of this innovative project, which is a first in the region," said Faisal Al Hammadi, Acting Executive Director of EAD's Environment Quality Sector. "We are using state-of-the-art technology to remotely sense vehicle emissions in real-time, and the data we will gather will be incredibly valuable to us as a scientific organization, as well as to our partners. The Department of Municipalities and Transport and the Integrated Transport Center will be able to use the real-time data to inform their policies on reducing emissions, and Abu Dhabi Police will have access to a comprehensive database of the current vehicle fleet, which will help improve the vehicle licensing process.

"Most importantly, on a larger scale, this project will aid in the development of programs to reduce harmful pollutants in the air for a healthier Abu Dhabi for all residents. Our partners will play a crucial role in aligning our policies and strategies and providing the data, information, and support needed to improve knowledge in the transport sector and its sub-sectors to support measures to reduce transport emissions, which we know is one of the main causes of air pollution."

Remote sensing technology is used to measure vehicle emissions in real-time without having to physically access the vehicles. The technology works by using absorption spectroscopy, which involves shining a light source on the exhaust plumes of passing vehicles. The instrument measures the light that is transmitted through the exhaust plumes and estimates the concentrations of various pollutants, including nitrogen monoxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), carbon dioxide (CO2), and particulate matter (PM). Each remote sensing measurement lasts for less than one second.