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Astrium Picks Picarro for Olympics GHG Measurements; EDF Monitors Live Energy Use

Astrium, the aerospace subsidiary of defense company EADS, has selected California-based Picarro as the sole provider of in situ instruments for measuring greenhouse gas emissions in London during the 2012 Olympic Games.

Since April, Astrium has been piloting its Emissions Measurement Service in London. The EMS uses stationary, airborne and ground-based mobile instruments (such as the Astrium bus, pictured) to measure GHG emissions on a city-wide scale in real-time.

Astrium developed its EMS in partnership with other private companies and research centers, including France’s Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, the UK’s National Centre for Earth Observation, the UK’s National Physical Laboratory Centre for Carbon Measurement, and Earth Networks.

The project analyzes CO2, CO and CH4 gas concentrations to determine the CO2 equivalent emissions at a national level and identify the sources of these emissions. The London pilot combines ground measurements from a network of Picarro’s cavity ring-down spectroscopy instruments, including four instruments stationed around the city, an instrument on the Astrium bus measuring GHG concentrations at road level, and an instrument aboard an airplane for higher altitude measurements.

In other Olympics sustainability news, fans will be able to monitor the Games’ real-time energy use with EDF Energy’s Visi, an online dashboard that shows energy usage from the Olympic stadium, aquatics center, velodrome and basketball arena, as well as from Tower Bridge and the London Eye.

In addition to providing real-time data, Visi shows how sustainable design features help conserve energy. For example, the aquatic center’s wave-shaped roof creates microclimates that keep the pool warm and spectators cool.

The London Games and its partners have initiated a number of measures in an effort to make the 2012 Summer Olympics the most sustainable to date.  The Games have pledged to reuse 90 percent of demolition waste and send zero waste to landfill, and promised that venues will use 30 to 40 percent less drinkable water than standard. In April, organizers cut the Olympics’ projected carbon footprint by over a fifth, through the use of rented seats, tents and crowd barriers.

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