Companions and AI will be able to monitor the emissions of every factory on Earth

Soon for the owners of factories, plants and power plants will come on hard times. Non-profit organization WattTime dealing with artificial intelligence technology, using the technology of satellite imagery with high accuracy to monitor the level of air pollution (including carbon emissions) of each factory and plant on Earth in real time. Moreover, all of this information will be published for free access on the Internet, which will increase the transparency of the data, reports Vox.

Weak monitoring of emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere, as well as the frequent cases of falsification of results of observations cast doubt on the effectiveness of the governments measures to reduce environmental pollution. System developed WattTime, promises to solve these problems.

The company intends to provide data for monitoring not only the regulators and politicians, all information will be freely available and will be able to see anyone. When it comes to the protection of the environment, the response of the society to unprincipled actions of violators may be more punishing than the response of any regulator. Having the relevant and accurate information about the levels of local pollution of the environment people will be able to send direct requests to the governments of their countries to those adopted measures to address problems.

And to unite in this question is worth. According to the latest State of Global Air, air pollution is on the fifth place of the main factors that increase the risk of premature mortality among the global population. Due to this die 5 million people lost a total of 147 million years of healthy life. It is obvious that the inhabitants of the countries with the greatest number of various mills, factories and power plants suffer from air pollution more than others. Now, at least they will be armed with information.


To monitor air pollution in real time WattTime going to use data from satellites of a global system of remote sensing of the Earth, like the same network “Copernicus”, the European Union (the largest civil project on Earth observation) and American Landsat, and satellite data of different private companies. All necessary information is collected by spacecrafts using different sensors operating at different wavelengths, including infrared.

Image can be handled by different artificial intelligence algorithms which can detect signs of contamination. The company has in the past successfully demonstrated that significant amounts of pollution can be tracked with the help of satellites by identifying a regular smoke. Using infrared sensors it will be possible to determine the heat energy producing industries. According to the Executive Director WattTime Gavin McCormick, sensors able to directly determine the emissions of nitrogen oxide (NO2) in the atmosphere are currently under development.

In addition to data on observations of thermal markers, and smoke emissions of nitrogen oxide WattTime will collect and real-time publish data on the level of emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every factory on Earth. According to McCormick, the system can also collect information on certain water pollutants (nitrates and mercury).

For the financing of project costs – the philanthropic wing of Google, aimed at the implementation of various charitable and other projects. WattTime became one of the winners of AI Impact Challenge organized by Google and got to your project grant in the amount of $ 1.7 million.

In addition, WattTime joined forces with Carbon Tracker involved in the analysis of financial efficiency of different energy producing sectors (for example, analysis published in November last year showed that 42 percent of all coal-fired power plants in the world operate at a loss), and world resources Institute (WRI), having the most complete to date database of all generating stations in the world.

As noted above, WattTime is a non-profit organization. At the moment it is under the auspices of the Institute of the rocky mountain. Among the latest developments is the Automated system of Emissions Reduction (AER). The program uses the data grid in real-time using machine-learning techniques determines at what point in time is “the most clean electricity”. This information is then used to automatically adjust power consumption in a particular time, which generally allows you to minimize the level of carbon emissions. Power many types of systems using a common power supply network can be changed based on the current load. Water heaters, charging stations batteries and some industrial processes – they are all adaptable and manageable. The AER system is fully automated. In other words, it runs itself without requiring user intervention.