Official launch of the NSW Smart Sensing Network

The NSW Smart Sensing Network (NSSN) was officially launched today at the University of Sydney.

The initiative is a collaboration between the NSW Government, universities and industry to advance research into next-generation sensors - devices that are smaller and smarter and which will tackle major challenges in agriculture, health, security, the environment and industry.

Speakers at the launch included NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer Professor Mary O’Kane, Network Co-Directors Professors Benjamin Eggleton and Justin Gooding, NSSN Steering Committee Chair Professor Susan Pond and the Vice-Chancellors of UNSW & The University of Sydney Professor Ian Jacobs and Dr Michael Spence.

Just days after London was put on high alert because of UK pollution, network researchers will announce work on smart technologies ranging from mobile phone-enabled air and water sensors to skin patches for monitoring sun exposure and audio recognition for tracking koala populations

The NSSN is led by co-directors Professor Benjamin Eggleton from the University of Sydney's School of Physics and a flagship head at AINST, and UNSW's Professor Justin Gooding from the School of Chemistry. 

The establishment of the NSSN was announced late last year by the NSW Government.

Sydney's developments in air quality sensors led by Professor Eggleton and Dr Tomonori Hu could address global problems in measuring air pollution.

The spatial-temporal configurations and networking of these new sensors allow air quality monitoring more cheaply, frequently and over smaller distances than previously possible.

With changes to the types of emissions and with more complex chemicals – like nanoparticles – entering our atmosphere, these sorts of breakthroughs are crucial to measure accurately the air Australians breathe.

Currently, the official particle size and gas readings are taken at official monitoring stations, which consist of large shipping containers full of complex equipment. These breakthroughs could lead to smart-phone sized measuring devices. 

Inka-Maria Bane