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S. Korea to use satellite, latest tech to forecast fine dust emission levels

(Science Ministry-Yonhap)
(Science Ministry-Yonhap)

South Korea said Friday that it plans to carry out research to try to accurately check fine dust emission levels that affect everyday lives.

The 2020-24 fine dust research and development plan calls for the government and private companies to use a satellite and information technology to develop a so-called three-dimensional spatial distribution system that could give a detailed understanding about fine dust, the Ministry of Science and ICT said.

Fine dust has sparked health concerns across South Korea in recent years, as it can cause respiratory diseases and undermine the body's immune system.

The ministry said the goal is to come up with an algorithm that uses data from the Chollian-2B satellite, aerial surveillance, artificial intelligence and other information, to determine in real time, how and where fine dust comes from and how much is in the atmosphere.

The Chollian-2B is equipped with a Geostationary Environmental Monitoring Spectrometer and is capable of detecting in detail fine dust particles in the air and their movement.

Once the forecast system is in place, Seoul will be able to take long-term measures to reduce emission levels though policy initiatives and develop new technologies that can help cut back on output, as well as reduce its harmful fallouts.

In addition, the ministry said it will allocate 45.8 billion won ($38.4 million) until 2024 to support Northeast Asian researchers who are engaged in ways to reduce fine dust in the region through cutting-edge technologies. Of the total, 4.5 billion will be used this year to promote international cooperation.

The forecast system, moreover, will make it possible for policymakers to enhance the reliability of fine dust related official data shared with the public and other countries. (Yonhap)