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Pigeons Carry Tiny Sensors in Adorable Backpacks to Monitor London Pollution

by Shane McGlaun
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I live in a more rural area so I don’t have the hatred of pigeons that some city dwellers have, you might not find this quite as adorable as I do. A company has released a small flock of ten pigeons flying about London for the next few days wearing tiny and adorable backpacks. Inside these little black backpacks are air quality sensors.

bird-sensor-1zoom in

The sensors are made by Plume Labs and they are really the highlight here – wearable sensors small and light enough to be taken aloft by your average laden pigeon. I wonder what exactly is the average ground speed of a sensor-laden pigeon. African or European doesn’t matter.

bird-sensor-2zoom in

While the birds are aloft, if they happen to be in your area of London, simply tweet to @PigeonAir for the current air quality in the area. The sensors are specifically for looking for nitrogen dioxide and ozone concentrations. A request for measurements in the Holborn area read, “High pollution in #Holborn Avoid toxic smog.”

[via New Scientist]

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