Air Sciences Inc.

Company News & Science Blog

Air Sciences Awarded a Small Business Innovation Research Grant

2020 has presented Air Sciences with many opportunities for retooling. As a small business, we quickly enacted a work-from-home policy with some routines to keep everyone healthy but also balanced. Daily facetime through all-company meetings and even some virtual happy hours have kept our close-knit teams connected and thriving. The small blessings of this newfound flexibility (and home-cooked lunches) are quickly displaced, however, by the anxiety we all feel around the ongoing turmoil in economic and public health arenas.

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Reducing Mercury, Lending Expertise

For centuries, humans used mercury to extract gold or silver. Incredibly dangerous if inhaled directly, mercury also poses an environmental burden when it is released into the atmosphere or ends up in water. Mercury release can have natural (from volcanoes and forest fires) or man-made (anthropogenic) origins (power plants and manufacturing). One anthropogenic source linked to Air Sciences’ work is gold mining in Nevada.

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PI-SWERL: A Wind Erosion Laboratory on Wheels

Dust from wind traveling across open land areas is a common phenomenon on all continents of the world. Whether a tilled field or a geographic feature like a dry lakebed, these areas can emit dust that impacts public respiratory health. Knowing the potential for adverse health effects is difficult to quantify. Varying surface conditions, weather, and rates of emission are inherent to this challenge. Read more

Smart Sensors for Wildfire Detection 

Wildfires are growing in intensity and frequency as the climate changes, draining resources for firefighting often early in the season. Traditional methods of fire towers or satellite imaging are not effective until  fires are of substantial size. Air Sciences intern Mikhail Mayers, a computer engineering student at Portland State University, is working with some other students to detect smaller fires sooner.  Read more

Tillage and Roughness Mapping

Soil erosion from wind has plagued agriculture for centuries. More recently, mining operations, construction, and water diversion projects have been facing similar problems. Eroded soil can become suspended in the atmosphere and lead to violations of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

For industry, the most common solution is watering the ground, which increases soil cohesion and reduces dust emissions. Water, though, is often in short supply or prohibitive in cost. For this reason, Air Sciences is using industrial-scale tilling methods to inhibit dust emissions in complex regulatory environments. The solution is water-free, inexpensive, monitorable, and maintainable. 

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