BAQS: Birmingham Air Quality Supersite
Through the UKRI "Clean Air" Strategic Priorities Fund, we operate the Birmingham Air Quality Supersite (BAQS), one of three highly instrumented air quality stations nationally (alongside Manchester and London).
BAQS is located on the University's Edgbaston campus, and makes urban background measurements of regulated air pollutants (NOx, O3, SO2, PM mass concentration etc), NH3, CO, CH4, VOCs, NOy, Black Carbon, PM size distribution (SMPS + total particle number), PM composition (metals - XACT and non-refractory - ACSM), solar radiation (spectral radiometer, PM samples for offline analyses and meteorological parameters (including mixing layer height).
Through the OSCA (Integrated Observation System for Clean Air) project, BAQS data are used to monitor our evolving urban air quality, the response of our air to policy interventions such as Clean Air Zones, and to detect emerging trends in atmospheric composition. Ongoing studies are exploring the health impacts of air pollution in Birmingham (linking BAQS data to local hospital admission statistics), and exploring responses from the COVID-19 lockdowns.
The BAQS instruments were supported by NERC/BEIS investment, and the OSCA project is a collaboration with the Universities of Manchester, York, Cambridge, Imperial College, NCAS and CEH.