The NOSE system-Network for Odour SEnsitivity: innovation and citizen science

Network for Odour SEnsitivity il sistema modulare e inter-connesso basato su un approccio bottom-up. Uno strumento innovativo per lo studio dei miasmi olfattivi.


  • Salvatore Sodano CNR-ISAC
  • Paolo Bonasoni CNR-ISAC
  • Stefania Gilardoni ISP-CNR
  • Tony Christian Landi CNR-ISAC
  • Riesci Giorgio INKODE Soc. Coop
  • Anna Abita ARPA Sicilia
  • Vincenzo Infantino ARPA Sicilia



NOSE, Citizen science, Olfactory miasmus


This study presents the main technological and innovative aspects of the NOSE WEB-APP (Network for Odour Sensitivity), developed by the Institute of Atmospheric and Climate Sciences of the National Research Council (ISAC-CNR) in collaboration with the Regional Agency for the Environment Protection of Sicily Region (ARPA Sicilia). In the first phase, NOSE is applied in the “High-Risk Environmental Crisis Area” (AERCA) of Syracuse, which includes six municipalities with about 230 000 inhabitants. The largest petrochemical center in Europe is located in this area where also gasification, cogeneration, cement, power plants, and waste water purifier are located. Afterwards, the project was extended to the AERCA of Milazzo, Gela and Catania. In this complex situation, NOSE has the task of supporting the territorial control activities carried out by ARPA. However, due to the volatile nature of the odorous events, the morphology of the territory and the dense industrial aggregation, the identification of the emission sources is particularly complex. The innovative NOSE WEB-APP allows citizens to make a report, made completely anonymous in space and time. When a threshold of reports is collected by NOSE, in a specified period of time, the Alert system is activated. The ARPA authorities are informed in real time of the presence of the odorous event. The Alerts allow NOSE to activate the ODORPREP automatic samplers, installed across the territory. The air samplers take a sample of polluted air when an olfactory miasmus is perceived by the population. Immediately afterwards, the air samples are analyzed in the chemistry and olfactometric laboratories. With this process it is possible to identify the chemical "fingerprints" that characterize the odorous air mass. The combination of this information with the back-trajectories forecasting models of which NOSE is equipped, will allow the study of backward path of the air masses in order to better identify the source of the olfactory miasmus. In this work we will present a case study and the results and the progress achieved by NOSE after about two years of work.