NARIT focuses on combating pollution

CityNews – National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT) under the Ministry of Higher Education, Science Research and Innovation has introduced a conceptual model using the lidar technology, which is a surveying method that measures target distances by illuminating it with laser light and measuring the reflected light with a sensor. This will be used to collect data from the atmosphere with hopes of analysing sources for PM2.5 air particles within Thailand. This technology has combined the forces of eight different government offices as well as 20 universities to try to identify sources with the aim of finding immediate solutions.

Dr. Wanisa Surapipit, a researcher from the team at NARIT said, “Today Thailand is being highly affected by climate change, rising global temperatures and seasonal fluctuations which is leading to serious climate problems including this current pollution crisis.”

NARIT sees the seriousness of this problem, she continued, and will dedicate resources towards solving it as it is affecting many areas, especially the north of Thailand.

Research to date says that the causes of PM2.5 microns are not simply from vehicles or burning, but also from use of agricultural fertiliser which have high concentration of nitrogen which is a reactant of PM2.5, when combined with other chemicals which evaporate from fertilised plants they react with the sun in the atmosphere creating ozone gases in small particles.  Scientists will test these gasses in controlled models to better understand the reactions with the aim to find permanent solutions.

The Light Detection and Ranging Radar: LiDAR will be used to collect date up to 20 kilometres up into the atmosphere to see how quality of air affects not just humans, but the environment as a whole. There will be two locations where the technology will be installed including the Princess Sirindhorn Astropark in Mae Rim and also in Songkla province.

Sarun Posayajinda, director of the NARIT admits that this is a massive national problem which has to date not been addressed by thorough research. He says that currently various scientists and researchers have begun to create a plan for the development of Air Quality Research Programmes. All participating bodies will work towards the same national goal, he added.

The plan is to have a comprehensive picture of climate change which will affect Thailand in the coming decade as well as find solutions to mitigate any damage or harm to the citizens and our environment.