Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer Science


Computer Science

First Committee Member

Evangelos Yfantis

Second Committee Member

John Minor

Third Committee Member

Hal Berghel

Fourth Committee Member

Jacimaria Batista

Number of Pages



In this thesis we examine the use of digital cameras to detect the magnitude of atmospheric pollution present in the atmosphere. Digital cameras are inexpensive and are being used in countless areas, many of which are outdoors and very public. For example, we see digital cameras located at street intersections, city and state parks, and recreation areas. The theory presented in this paper could help agencies to monitor air quality at any of these sites. Our theory is based on certain molecules and particles that are present in clean air absorb, luminesce, refract, reflect, or scatter the red, green, and blue (RGB) visible light spectrum in a measurable manner. The longer wavelength components (red side) of visible light through the atmosphere are scattered less than the shorter wavelength components (blue side). The blue component is scattered more than the other color components (and, thus, is responsible for our blue sky). The longer wavelength components of visible light are also refracted less than the shorter wavelength components. The presence of certain pollutants and suspended particles in air will cause different levels of absorption, re-emission, refraction, or scattering in the RGB spectrum than that for cleaner air.


Air – Pollution; Digital cameras; Air quality management; Image processing; Light – Scattering; Pollution detection


Computer Sciences

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit