Ten race pigeons with specially designed backpacks monitor London pollution, and then upload their readings to Twitter. If you send them information about where you’re located in London, they will quickly tweet you back with details on how the air quality is there. Plume Labs provides information on air quality in major cities around the globe and is now launching the London’s first flock of pigeons to check for pollution. This project was developed in collaboration with DigitasLBi (global marketing and technology company), as well as support from Twitter. The term pollution refers to chemicals and substances that are found in the environment and can cause damage. Since centuries, pigeons have saved lives by carrying messages to the military to request support for their troops in times of need. Today, they help us to tackle pollution levels that kill thousands every year. (Image: twitter.com/PigeonAir/status) Called the Pigeon Air Patrol, Plume Labs’ unique sensing technology tracks air quality in the UK’s capital city and reports back via Twitter. You can request information on pollutant levels in London by using the hashtag @PigeonAir. One of the Pigeons will respond immediately. Sensors The tiny backpacks that contain devices to measure nitrogen dioxide and ozone are carried by the ten-pigeon armies. The pigeons are released daily, for three days consecutively. They quickly gather data in London’s rush hour. Plume Labs is assisted by Brian Woodhouse who is a multi-award winning pigeon expert. Woodhouse ensures that the birds are comfortable, safe and well-treated. The pigeons return home after each mission to rest, eat, and then hang up their backpacks as they wait for their next one. (Image: twitter.com/PigeonAir/status) Throughout history, pigeons have helped us carry critical messages across the skies. Plume said that it was difficult to get the pigeons to fly in tiny backpacks. Plume Labs stated that the team at Plume Labs worked hard to provide the best technology for Coco, Julius and Norbert. The tiny ultra-light sensors measure pollutants in the air. These pollutants can cause health problems. Two things were considered when creating these state-of the-art devices: It can cover many parameters. 2. To be small enough to allow birds to carry them easily. We’re on our way! We’re off! The #PigeonAir Patrol’s first flight takes place from Brick Lane. pic.twitter.com/W8KnyrxnCe — Pigeon Air Patrol (@PigeonAir) 14 March 2016 Plume significantly reduced the size of key parts of an air quality sensor, which today is a tracker measuring just 2 x 1.5 x 0.5 inches. It added that pigeons are very comfortable and we designed beautiful backpacks to allow them full mobility. We received the following message from pigeonairpatrol.com. It said: “The lovely HR team at Plume Labors takes excellent care of us. The backpacks we use are light and portable, with a veterinarian on-hand to ensure that our safety and well being. Don’t be alarmed, flying is what we do, after all. In partnership with Imperial College London, you can sign up for the Air Patrol Plume Labs to test their new pollution sensor. You can join the program if you’re a cyclist, pram driver, or runner and want to learn more about how to reduce pollution. Video – Pigeon TLC
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