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Air Quality Prediction

Posted by: data61

January 31, 2015

Reducing the impact of high levels of pollution produced by industry on agriculture and residential communities is an ongoing issue for Environmental Regulators.


Data61’s Air Quality Prediction project has constructed predictive models that can help to determine how air pollution will evolve over the next 24 hours, enabling industry to take measures to alleviate pollution before it becomes an issue.


Project Background

Data61 undertook a pilot with the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority (NSW EPA) using data collected from existing environmental sensors in the Hunter Valley area.

There are 14 environmental sensors installed by the NSW EPA that monitor pollution and atmospheric conditions throughout the Upper Hunter Valley area. Data from these sensors is automatically uploaded to the Data61 developed EPA Air Quality Prediction Service. Through the use of machine learning, the predictive algorithms are then able to infer pollution levels up to 24 hours in advance including a confidence reading on the model’s current performance.

For coal mining companies an indication of future air quality means they could take preventive measures to reduce pollution, which in the long-term will maximise production.

What is the technology?

Based on machine learning sensibilities, the predictive modelling tools of the EPA Air Quality Prediction Service will ultimately allow Government to access predictions of pollution for the next 24 hours via their handheld or tablet in the field.

Data61’s unique approach

Sensors and the technology behind them are already well developed in Australia and internationally. Many government environmental agencies are able to collect data about pollution levels but are unable to accurately predict into the future.

The EPA Air Quality Prediction Service uses advanced analytical techniques to make the most of the data that is already being collected.


The EPA Air Quality Prediction Service modelling software is currently being piloted with the NSW EPA as an application delivered via the browser and available via desktop and mobile devices.

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