Urban Air Quality

HPC-Competence Center

Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Centre (PSNC) is the leading research and computing centre in Poland. PSNC provides access to quality production environment for advanced computations and data processing. HPC resources located at PSNC include specialized computing systems with different architectures: multiprocessor SMPs, tightly coupled clusters and GPGPU machines. PSNC has increased the availability of cloud computing and HPC tools, in the form of dedicated applications, web platforms, and by offering new services for optimizing time and costs of calculations carried out remotely by various partners, including SMEs.

The Enterprise

NETICTECH S.A.is a private investment company from the small and medium size enterprise (SME) sector, established to stimulate highly innovative ideas through commercialisation and facilitated access to domain experts, research institutions and business partners. Following a variety of tailored investment models, the company helps to mature ideas and enables acceleration of technology assessment, take-up and transfer. In close collaboration with public institutions we have created a new simulation software package for predicting air quality in urban areas using HPC technologies.

How HPC makes the difference

It is estimated that more than one billion people are exposed to outdoor air pollution annually, which is linked to up to one million premature deaths and one million pre-natal deaths each year. Increased air pollution in major cities is caused by rapid urbanisation, especially in developing countries. Air pollution in urban areas comes from manufacturing market, in-house thermal appliances, power plants, though 90% is attributed to vehicle emissions brought by high number of older vehicles and poor vehicle maintenance. In order to improve quality of life in such polluted urban environments, it is important to monitor and predict the air quality.

Our parallel simulation software offers a capability of predicting air quality in urban areas. Using HPC technologies we are able to better estimate various air pollution parameters taking into account realistic scenarios based on digital urban 3D models and maps. We forecast NOx, SOx, PM2,5 and PM10 concentration at different scales taking into consideration:

  • weather conditions, including forecast;

  • different emission types: point, line, area;

  • different vehicle types;

  • season differentiation (e.g. vehicle and heating increases emission during winter, emission from air conditioning and larger demand for electricity during summer).

Pollution concentration over Poznan city centre.

Figure1: Pollution concentration over Poznan city centre.