Buses and road sweepers measure particulate matter in Brandenburg and Berlin

Marc Nodorft is convinced: “The smaller the particles, the more dangerous they are to my health.” Nodorft is head of research and development at Füllner&Partner, the Stahnsdorf engineering office, together with companies and scientific institutions across Europe, has developed a technology that reduces the fine. dust pollution in cities to make it more visible. Project “GOD Smart Air” is measured in 22 European cities. Teltow is the first in the metropolitan region.

35 buses of the municipal bus company “Regiobus” are equipped with sensors that measure the smallest dust particles in real time. Devices mounted on the roofs of vehicles take measurements every twelve seconds – roughly every 100 meters in normal traffic. The data will be sent to research institutions, e.g Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems sent to estimate the amount of data.


secondsthen the sensor measures again.

The measurements in Teltov must be done by the end of October. At the beginning of the summer, citizen polls about Geoportals Nodorft promises that they will be available on the municipal websites. But first they must be noticed. “These are huge amounts of data,” says Gilles Delaunay. French is a data analyst and part of the project team.

Buses go to Berlin and Potsdam

This is the first time that driving sensors have combined fine dust pollution data with stationary measurements. In addition, other data relevant to the city’s air quality are collected, such as weather and traffic. Nodorft says it’s important to take measurements live in traffic. “My kids actually stand at traffic lights for minutes waiting for the green light. They are not ten meters away.”

That’s a huge amount of data.

Gilles DelaunayPollutrack Data Analyst.

Regiobus has installed the technology on twelve of its 66 lines. Bus lines 20, 22 and 23 go to Berlin and measure pollution there as well. Lines 601 and X1 go to Potsdam Central Station.

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In the tent, buses, vehicles from the public order office and the local MC Donalds branch are equipped with sensors that measure fine dust pollution.  Vehicles go to Berlin and Potsdam.
In the tent, buses, vehicles from the public order office and the local MC Donalds branch are equipped with sensors that measure fine dust pollution. Vehicles go to Berlin and Potsdam.
© OU Smart Air / OU Smart Air

Two more buses are to be installed. In addition, there are already two vehicles from the Teltow Public Order Office, a road sweeper from the depot and a transporter and delivery vehicles from the Teltow McDonalds branch.

Regiobus test drive from Stahnsdorf depot employee Ehsan Tavakoli shows real-time measurements in his notebook. 11:30 a.m. a device on the roof of the bus measured fine dust with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers at 25 micrograms per cubic meter. Curve 12.05 rises to 35 micrograms per cubic meter. “Here we were. There was probably more stress there,” says Tavakoli.

Smart boxes: McDonald's vehicles in Teltov were equipped with sensors.
Smart boxes: McDonald’s vehicles in Teltov were equipped with sensors.
© OU Smart Air / OU Smart Air

From yellow to orange in Zehlendorf, from green in Ruhlsdorf

After the trip, Tavaloki shows the network of routes used by the vehicles on his computer at the depot. The red and orange dots stretch along the federal highway 101 and L40, the Potsdam-Schönfeld highway, where buses and vehicles equipped with measuring sensors also travel.

The dots are in different colors according to the World Health Organization (WHO) limit values ​​for fine dust pollution. Red means high load, green means low load. They can be seen, for example, in Ruhlsdorf and in parts on the Ostpreußendamm in Berlin-Lichterfeld. In Zehlendorf, the dots are mostly yellow to orange, which means that 15-20 micrograms per cubic meter of fine fine dust particles are currently being measured there.

I don’t build a daycare center or retirement home where there would be a lot of stress.

Marc NodorftHead of Research and Development at the engineering office of Füllner&Partner Stahnsdorf

The measurements should influence urban and traffic planning. “I don’t build a day care center or a retirement home where there would be a lot of stress,” says D. Nodorft.

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The route network is to be expanded

By February, it is planned to expand and improve the network of routes: 70 cameras must recognize vehicles and differentiate: how many cyclists are on the road, how many trucks with and without trailers. What effect do they have on the measurements? They only transmit recognized vehicles, not photos…

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