NSSN on show at IPAC Global Environmental Measurement & Monitoring Workshop

On 31 July 2017 in Singapore, IPAC convened a workshop on Environmental Monitoring and Measurement with domain experts and government officials from around the region. Ben Eggleton (University of Sydney) and Ken Baldwin (Australian National University), served as chairs of the workshops.
The presentations spanned many topical issues in sensing technologies.  Undoubtedly, air pollution requires new technologies that can be addressed with photonics but the key discussion point is how to make it affordable and accurate. Dr John Harvey introduced laser based gas sensing technologies for detecting species such as methane and ammonia. He addressed that the challenge in future technologies such as cavity ring down spectroscopy and open path laser systems is in the price to deliver the device.

This always brings up the common problem: cost vs accuracy.

The new push for the internet-of-things suggests the use of low-cost sensors connected in a smart network, to use data analytics to overcome the lack of accuracy. Prof Ben Eggleton used the opportunity to discuss the work done by the NSW Smart Sensing Network in fusing data from smart sensors to overcome some of these challenges.
The IPAC Meeting will be one of many crucial conversations that are needed to allow photonic technologies to deliver solutions in environmental monitoring and measurement.

Inka-Maria Bane