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In Inhalation toxicology

OBJECTIVE : The air quality index (AQI) forecasts are one of the most important aspects of improving urban public health and enabling society to remain sustainable despite the effects of air pollution. Pollution control organizations deploy ground stations to collect information about air pollutants. Establishing a ground station all-around is not feasible due to the cost involved. As an alternative, satellite-captured data can be utilized for AQI assessment. This study explores the changes in AQI during various COVID-19 lockdowns in India utilizing satellite data. Furthermore, it addresses the effectiveness of state-of-the-art deep learning and statistical approaches for forecasting short-term AQI.

MATERIALS AND METHODS : Google Earth Engine (GEE) has been utilized to capture the data for the study. The satellite data has been authenticated against ground station data utilizing the beta distribution test before being incorporated into the study. The AQI forecasting has been explored using state-of-the-art statistical and deep learning approaches like VAR, Holt-Winter, and LSTM variants (stacked, bi-directional, and vanilla).

RESULTS : AQI ranged from 100 to 300, from moderately polluted to very poor during the study period. The maximum reduction was recorded during the complete lockdown period in the year 2020. Short-term AQI forecasting with Holt-Winter was more accurate than other models with the lowest MAPE scores.

CONCLUSIONS : Based on our findings, air pollution is clearly a threat in the studied locations, and it is important for all stakeholders to work together to reduce it. The level of air pollutants dropped substantially during the different lockdowns.

Singh Tinku, Sharma Nikhil, Satakshi Kumar


Google Earth Engine (GEE), beta distribution, pollutants, remote sensing, satellite data