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IIT Kanpur Launches A Center Of Excellence Called ATMAN To Monitor Air Quality


The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) has established a Center of Excellence (CoE) named ATMAN (Advanced Technologies for Monitoring Air-quality iNdicators). The CoE is a significant step towards the Atma Nirbhar Bharat initiative of the Government of India, focusing on building indigenous low-cost sensor manufacturing and Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) capabilities to enhance air quality across urban and rural areas of India.

Aligning with India’s Vision for Sustainable Technologies

  • The CoE ATMAN aims to translate sustainable technologies and business models into practical products and services accessible to millions globally.
  • It represents a pivotal move towards achieving self-reliance in air quality monitoring and management.

Philanthropic Support for Cutting-Edge Technology

  • Supported by philanthropic entities, including Bloomberg Philanthropies, Open Philanthropy, and the Clean Air Fund, ATMAN aims to address critical air quality challenges with cutting-edge technology.
  • This support not only demonstrates global recognition of India’s air quality issues but also facilitates research and development in this crucial field.

Initiatives Underway at ATMAN

  • This initiative of establishing the Center of Excellence—ATMAN has firmly positioned the institute at the forefront of efforts to combat air pollution.
  • Through ATMAN, IIT Kanpur is dedicated to the meticulous evaluation of health risks associated with air pollutants, as well as a comprehensive review of air quality standards.

AMRIT: Revolutionizing Rural Air Quality Monitoring

  • There are several projects that are currently underway at ATMAN. The Ambient Air Quality Monitoring of Rural Areas using Indigenous Technology (AMRIT) is a flagship project that will deploy a dense Sensor Ambient Air Quality Monitor (SAAQM) network with 1,400 nodes across rural areas in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
  • This initiative is the first of its kind to monitor air quality comprehensively in these regions, where data has been limited to cities and towns. The CoE team will be working with the State Pollution Control Board of Bihar and Department of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Government of Uttar Pradesh on AMRIT to enhance air quality action in these states.

DHSA: Dynamic Hyper-Local Source Apportionment

  • The Dynamic Hyper-local Source Apportionment (DHSA) is a cost-effective approach to source apportionment that is currently being pioneered in Lucknow and Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The data from DHSA will enable city authorities to make informed decisions in their air quality action planning. The long-term vision is to scale DHSA systems across cities in India to inform about emission and sources of air pollution on a dynamic scale based on this project.

PM2.5 Prediction and Airshed Management

  • The PM2.5 Prediction and Airshed Management is a project that utilizes micro-satellite imagery, sensor-based ambient air quality networks, and machine learning to predict PM2.5 levels at finer resolutions.
  • Additionally, the CoE is developing an airshed approach to address air pollution on a larger scale with data-driven policy decisions. This project promises to revolutionize air quality prediction and management, enabling policymakers to take proactive measures.

Cutting-Edge Technology at the Heart of ATMAN

  • The CoE is at the forefront of indigenous air quality sensor fabrication, combining it with artificial intelligence and machine learning models to ensure precise and reliable results.
  • The technology’s optimization involves careful sensor placement to maximize overall citizen satisfaction with air quality information available to the public.

A Stride Towards Cleaner Air

  • The CoE ATMAN represents a significant stride towards achieving cleaner air for the nation. The holistic approach of the CoE, combining innovative sensor technology with AI/ML capabilities, is poised to set a precedent for sustainable air quality management worldwide. With its collaborative projects and visionary initiatives, IIT Kanpur is playing a vital role in addressing one of India’s most pressing environmental challenges and paving the way for a healthier and cleaner future.

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