On June 28th 2019, an event on traffic emissions and Low Emissions Zones in Europe held at the headquarters of the Representation of European Commission in Madrid. The EC reaffirmed their support on Remote Sensing Tecnology. Maj-Britt Larka Abellán, General Subdirector of Air Quality and Industrial Environment from Ministry for the Ecological Transition of Spain, opened the conference highlighting the commintment on air quality and the support to the RSD technology of Opus RSE.  The Spanish company OPUS RSE technology is the only one around the world ISO-17025 certified for this type of measures.

The first step is to empirically measure actual traffic emissions

Dispositivo RSD de Opus RSE colocado en el Paseo de la Castellana, en Madrid
Opus RSE RSD Device placed at Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid


The conference showed how remote sensing (RSD) technology allows measuring empirically the emissions of each vehicle passing in front of the device. Measures takes less than half a second and are non-intrusive, thanks to this, RSD reports real driving emissions.

Different companies have shown the use of this technology in countries such as the United Kingdom, Denmark, Bulgaria and Poland with incredible results. It showed how each RSD allows to measure thousands of vehicles per day to obtain real and reliable data on traffic emissions


550,000 vehículos medidos en Madrid


LIFE project GySTRA (www.lifegystra.eu), funded by the European Union, carries out the largest campaign to monitor traffic emissions ever made in Europe. Results of the project were presented during the conference LIFE GySTRA has allowed to measure more than half a million vehicles in 22 streets and roads of Madrid.

Data show that only 5% of vehicles, the most polluting, are responsible for up to 60% of the total emissions produced by road traffic. These vehicles usually have some defect, so they can be new or old and can be repaired. Approximately 7% of them are so modern that they would even be under manufacturer’s warranty. Identifying these highly polluting vehicles would be the most effective measure to improve air quality.



How to upgrade Madrid Central?

The conference explored how Opus’ RSD technology can reinforce the effectiveness and efficiency of various Low Emission Zones in Europe, including Madrid Central. According to data collected in LIFE GySTRA, DGT environmental labels are a good first step to categorize vehicles according to their emission level, and therefore allow or not, in the first instance, which groups of vehicles, are allowed to access Madrid Central. However, with a correctly implemented remote sensing program in the city, it would be possible to identify in a cheap and non-intrusive way highly polluting vehicles that have environmental certification, which allows them to circulate in Madrid.

The graphs above show that there are vehicles, with “clean” labels that actually pollute like those that do not even have an environmental label.

Encontrando camiones manipulados Guardia Civil

ONOX Operation pictures


The Captain of the Seprona Unit of the Guardia Civil, Carlos Astráin, explained ONOx Operation, carried out in 2018 with Opus RSE to use these remote sensing devices to find illegally manipulated trucks on the spot.

The shutdown of the SCR system, which neutralizes NOx emissions in trucks, is a widespread practice among truck drivers and until now has not had an easy way to identify itself easily.

Through this operation it has been estimated that 216 people die in Spain each year due to this illicit practice. Four people are now facing criminal charges for environmental crime, after tampering an entire fleet of trucks.


Spain pioneer in Europe

Remote Sensing technology has been validated by numerous entities, including the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC). ENAC, in Spain, has accredited OPUS RSE, a laboratory company, with ISO-17025 certification with the scope of measuring vehicle emissions at a remote location using RSD technology.

Currently, there are already European standards covering the use of this technology, which has been included in the new regulatory framework for certification of the automotive market. Spain is in a privileged position in Europe to lead this growing market and improve public health through a cheap, fair and effective solution. remote location using RSD technology.


Text by courtesy of OPUS RSE

Remote Sensing to upgrade European Low emissons zones such as ‘Madrid Central’

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