KU Researchers Develop Tools for Smart and Interactive Systems Used in Solar Simulation, Environmental Monitoring and Marine Monitoring
The Research Center for Renewable Energy Mapping and Assessment (ReCREMA) at Khalifa University has developed a laboratory at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) that utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to calibrate and train algorithms used to identify and manage hazards and pollution warnings as part of a climate monitoring and forecasting system.
In announcing the new lab H.E. Dr. Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister for Climate Change and Environment, reaffirmed the MoCCAE’s keenness to be at the forefront of government agencies in adopting all tools and techniques related to artificial intelligence and ensuring high efficiency in achieving its strategic objectives.
“The laboratory aims to protect the local environment by monitoring and analyzing the available information accurately and using it in making the right decisions, based on the latest available global technologies, which play a pivotal role in the environmental sector, especially in the fields of monitoring, data analysis, communications and information storage and retrieval. Thus, it is natural to integrate all these tasks and strengthen them, using systems that rely on knowledge and artificial intelligence,” Dr. Al Zeyoudi stated.
All the operational tools will be displayed in a large video wall measuring 2×5 meters at the Artificial Intelligence Lab. The Dubai-based laboratory includes three main systems – satellite-based real-time solar mapping tool and live performance simulator for solar plant in the UAE; real-time operational system for air quality monitoring and forecasting; and a marine environment monitoring and forecasting system.
“The purpose of this project is to develop and implement a smart and interactive system for real-time solar performance assessment and environmental monitoring at the premises of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment in Dubai. The smart monitoring system will display real-time and forecasted indicators for many environmental and renewable energy parameters,” explained ReCREMA Director Dr. Hosni Ghedira.
Solar photovoltaic maps and the solar simulation system contribute to optimizing planning and the operation of solar plants for power generation, contributing to the mapping of an integrated system of the best locations for solar facilities.
The environmental monitoring system, which includes real-time monitoring and forecasting, provides concentrations of air pollutants and air quality index data derived from satellite data and atmospheric circulation models. It also includes a series of mapping images showing hourly concentrations of air pollutants and their direction in the UAE, in addition to a three-day pollutant concentrations forecast model for six main air pollutants – carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, Sulphur dioxide, ground level ozone, particles with a diameter of less than 10 microns, and a five-day model for predicting concentrations of particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns.
The marine environment monitoring system aims to provide real-time prediction of the quality of water in coastal areas of the UAE. This tool utilizes data provided daily by the US National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) satellites to produce a daily assessment of water quality conditions of the country’s coast and to control water pollution by tracking oil spills and red tide algae outbreaks. The marine products were developed by Dr. Maryam Al Shehhi, Postdoctoral Researcher at ReCREMA.
ReCREMA is a regional research hub for the adaptation of earth observation technologies for environmental monitoring in desert and arid environments. The center is a regional leader in earth observation, renewable energy mapping, solar technology simulation, satellite image processing, and atmospheric modeling with ongoing projects in many Gulf countries.
Over a period of seven years, a dedicated team of more than 20 ReCREMA research scientists, engineers and graduate students have contributed to the development of the earth observation tools and weather forecasting models for the UAE and wider region. More than 60 high-quality journal papers on the used methodology, showing validation details of the models have been published in top peer-reviewed journals over the last 5 years.
ReCREMA works to develop regional knowledge and leadership in renewable energy assessment and mapping for the Arabian Peninsula and countries with similar climates, mainly in Africa.