Martin Aubé


Martin Aubé has developed a new diagnostic model, ILLUMINA, to help track and control light pollution.

This research is aimed at modeling radiative transfer in the atmosphere to characterize night sky radiance at various international sites. In addition to determining night sky radiance, this model allows us to produce geographical maps. The first map identifies how much each square kilometer contributes to sky radiation (percentage per km2) and the second classifies each square kilometer in terms of its sensitivity to light pollution. This sensitivity map pinpoints locations where changes to outdoor lighting would have the biggest impact on sky radiance. Both maps are powerful diagnostic tools that decision-makers and scientists can use to develop the most effective initiatives for restricting or reducing light pollution. Resolving this problem requires the contribution of processes involving nonlinear physics and environmental heterogeneity. The complexity of this challenge requires state-of-the-art computing resources such as those held by Compute Canada. In 2013 we performed this analysis for European astronomical observatory sites on the Canary Islands and at the first international dark sky reserve located in Mont-Mégantic, Quebec. Management at these two sites uses the findings to monitor local light pollution. We also presented our work numerous times in 2013 and gave two presentations as guest lecturers in Slovakia and the United States.