UK Millennium Award for environmental monitoring technology from Learian/City Technology Limited

Sensor Review

ISSN: 0260-2288

Article publication date: 1 June 2000




(2000), "UK Millennium Award for environmental monitoring technology from Learian/City Technology Limited", Sensor Review, Vol. 20 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

UK Millennium Award for environmental monitoring technology from Learian/City Technology Limited

UK Millennium Award for environmental monitoring technology from Learian/City Technology Limited

Keywords: Environmental monitoring, Awards, Technology

A world-first, lamppost-mounted pollution monitoring device named the Streetbox is set to make a huge contribution to gathering street level pollution data. The brainchild of Learian Design of Camberley, Surrey, UK utilising EnviroceL® gas sensors from City Technology Limited of Portsmouth, the Streetbox has performed impressively in street trials against a nationally approved gas analyser in monitoring London's carbon monoxide levels. It is to be exhibited in London's Millennium Dome as a recipient of the UK's coveted Millennium Award (see Plate 1).

Plate 1City Technology Ltd's pollution monitoring device is to be exhibited at London's Millennium Dome

Lamppost fixing

The unobtrusive, battery-powered Streetbox, which is about the size of a shoebox and weighs just 1.8kg, fixes to lampposts. Learian have combined conventional temperature measurement with City Technology's electrochemical sensors to measure up to four principal pollutants simultaneously in urban air: carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone.

Remote data downloading

By using an intelligent microprocessor-based logger, the Streetbox monitors and records gas levels along with real time site specific data such as light, temperature, time and humidity. Then via a built-in radio transmitter, the data are downloaded to a PC which can be anything up to 5km away. The Streetbox's remote data collection facility makes it ideal for monitoring air quality over a number of linked sites.

Central London and M25 trials

The performance of three Streetbox monitors was measured against that of the so-called "Supersite" pollution monitoring project - a container-sized collection of pollution monitoring equipment-based on the Marylebone Road in central London. Financed by 33 London councils, the supersite is part of the NETCEN national network which posts pollution data on to the Internet hourly. The South East Institute for Physical Health (SEIPH), who manage the site, having analysed the findings, reported that the Streetbox readings mirrored those of London's major Supersite equipment.

Chris Cooper-Smith, Learian's Technical Director, said: "We are pleased that our linking with City Technology has been so successful. The pollutant gases in question are present in parts per million/billion, and City brings 25 years' experience in gas detection. Between us we have been able to develop an affordable means of repeatable and acurate monitoring for air quality watchdogs."

Transport Research Laboratories (TRL) are also carrying out Streetbox trials on the M25 motorway around the Heathrow blackspot. Again the Streetbox performance is being compared with that of conventional, bulky gas analysers. A TRL spokesperson said that, following teething problems, initial results are looking promising and, should Streetbox's performance match up over a longer period, they will be using it more widely.

A London council using Streetboxes

London's Camden Council have invested in a number of Streetboxes. They are used as screening tools in identifying pollution hotspots where air quality levels fail to comply with national Air Quality Standards and also to assess the effects of traffic management schemes on local street pollution. Anna Richard is Camden's Pollution Team Leader: "We're still finetuning at the moment but, when they're working well, Streetboxes are great as they're easy to use, reliable and battery operated, so there's no need for a mains supply. Being able to download data from a distance is good, too. Results are certainly getting better."

City's sales & marketing director, David Baines, said: "Environmental monitoring is growing world-wide. This Millennium Award confirms that new British technology is leading the way."

For more information on City Technology's EnviroceLs® and the full range of gas sensors visit their Web site: Find out more about Learian Design on

For further information contact: Mark Green at City Technology. Tel: +44 (0) 1705 325511; E-mail:

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