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AVOID montert på Airbus

AVOID volcanic ash detection technology tested on Airbus aircraft

The infrared system that detects and informs about volcanic ash in the atmosphere has been tested on Airbus in Toulouse, France. – We are happy to confirm that the system also works in high altitudes where the big commercial aircrafts fly, says Dr. Fred Prata from NILU, inventor of the system.

Tomas Nikovini og Armin Wisthaler

New technology reveals unknown pollutants

From NILU’s Annual magazine: Senior scientist Armin Wisthaler and NILU’s new mass spectrometer can detect volatile contaminants at unprecedented speed including species that have never been detected before. It is now also possible to analyse for example organic pollutants in the atmosphere from an airplane at full speed, to study unknown chemical reactions in indoor air and to investigate a series of other dependencies of importance for environment and human health.

Bad air quality in Norwegian cities – but solutions are possible

Article from NILU’s Annual Magazine: Air quality in several major Norwegian cities is now so bad that it causes significant health problems, and if worst comes to worst, air quality may even be poorer in the coming years. “The good news is that there are measures that can improve air quality,” says NILU’s Leonor Tarrasón.

Nicarnica Aviations askekamera AVOID under testflyvning over Etna


From NILU’s Annual magazine 2011: NILU’s Fred Prata has developed an “ash camera” that alerts airplane pilots to the presence of ash clouds, allowing the aircraft to avoid having to be grounded by volcanic eruptions. The camera is now being tested on EasyJet’s aircraft.


Good volcanic ash data saves European air traffic

Article from NILU’s Annual magazine 2011: Three days after a volcanic eruption in Iceland in May 2011, the Met Office in London warned that volcanic ash in the skies over large parts of southern Norway could represent a danger to air traffic. But Norwegian experts had their own models and good satellite data and concluded that air traffic could resume as normal.

Stasjonen på Zeppelinfjellet, Svalbard

Climate research is still important – so is monitoring

The Norwegian Government’s 2012 white paper on climate change states that research on the effects of global warming and measures to address the problem will continue to be a high priority, along with research on the climate system itself. Research is also an important priority in the Government’s High North strategy. But is the same effort being made in environmental monitoring, the cornerstone of climate research?

Knut Breivik

NILU-scientist awarded by Environmenal Science & Technology

Knut Breivik and co-authors won the award as 1st Runner-Up Best Policy Analysis paper for 2011, published in the scientific journal Environmental Science & Technology. The title of the paper is “Are reductions in industrial organic contaminants emissions in rich countries achieved partly by export of toxic wastes?”.

Fra Dhaka, Bangladesh. Mann bærer bør på hodet. Fabrikkpiper med svart røyk i bakgrunnen.

NILU has expanded its efforts in Bangladesh

The recent kick-off of the second major project in Bangladesh demonstrates NILUs cooperative efforts in assessing and managing the air quality problems in the country.

HydroNet robot prototype

New sensor technologies for environmental monitoring in water

The trunk of the capsized Costa Concordia is waiting to be retrieved. Scientists of the EU FP7 project HydroNet see potential for deployment of their newly developed robotic catamaran that is able to identify and measure different chemicals in the water.

No more volcanic ash plane chaos?

The eruption of Icelandic Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 ejecting enormous ask plumes into the air, lead to severe problems for air traffic, grounding millions of passengers and leaving airlines with a loss of billions. Now, Nicarnica is testing an ‘ash camera’ with easyJet, developed by Dr. Fred Prata from NILU. By use of such a device, a chaos with the 2010 dimensions could be greatly reduced in the future.


Improved air quality, but still far from the target

European air quality shows small signs of improvements over the last two decades, but some pollution concentrations are still a threat to human health. This is the conclusion of a new report about European air quality, published by the European Parliament in November 2011.

Nicarnica Aviations askekamera AVOID under testflyvning over Etna

AVOID has flown for the first time at Etna volcano in Sicily

Early last week, Fred Prata and Adam Durant from Nicarnica Aviation and NILU left behind the Oslo winter and travelled over 3000 miles to Sicily for the AVOID (The Airborne Volcanic Object Imaging Detector) flight trials. In this blog Adam describes the first week of work.

Skin care chemicals end up in your blood – and in the Arctic

Many skin care products contain a variety of chemical substances with partially unknown and possibly harmful effects, and these chemicals not only affect your skin. They end up in your blood – and in the environment as far north as the Arctic.

Rushtid i Dhaka, Bangladesh

Dhaka: The Dusty City

The first results from the collaboration between the Department of Environment in Bangladesh and NILU.


Large European communities generate significant amounts of valuable environmental observations at local and regional scales using mobile communication devices, computers and sensors which are mostly connected to the internet.

EC project MEMORI: Innovative Research for Market Transfer

MEMORI: Measurement, Effect Assessment and Mitigation of Pollutant Impact on Movable Cultural Assets. NILU is from 1st November 2011 coordinating a new EC project; MEMORI. MEMORI will go on for three years until the end of 2014.

Inauguration of Bangladesh Air Pollution Management Project

Bangladesh is suffering from some of the world’s worst urban air quality problems. Particularly in the non-monsoon period the concentrations of particulate matter regularly exceed proposed standards.  The larger cities such as Dhaka and Chittagong have major traffic issues which represent a source of the air quality problems, while industrial sources such as steel mills, cement factories, and brick kilns are also considerable sources.  NILU, in cooperation with the Bangladesh Department of Environment, has received NORAD funding for a three-year project to study and address these issues.