The ideal outdoor air quality sensor should have the following abilities:
- Be robust, small, portable and weather resistant for an outdoor site.
- Be unobtrusive in its appearance to detract from vandalism
- Have AC and DC power options where it could be run from a battery and/or plugged in
- Require none or very simple zeroing and calibrations that can be run by a citizen with a high school education.
- Be net-workable and Geolocated to allow real time comparison on a distributed network
- Real-time parameters with no need to send the samples to the lab.
- Be less than $100
The PARAMETERS that it should measure are listed on the SCAQMD map site and include:
- Ground-level Ozone (O3)
- Particle Pollution, also known as particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5)
- Carbon Monoxide (CO)
- Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) and
- Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2).
Additional parameters relevant for the Eastern Coachella Valley include:
- VOCs, combustible gas and Methane: for the frequent odor issues in the area
- Temperature and Relative Humidity: to calibrate the other sensors against
Work already done?
The reason I am writing this is to see if the work has already been done. I know that a few groups are working on this. Many public buses in San Francisco collect this data, but there are limited sensors available for sale to the public. here are some options that I have seen which approximate most of my requested parameters and criteria.
A community lead sensing network with the sensors, base station and network. It starts with CO and NO2 parameters and you can add on additional sensors such as the particulate counter. There is a pretty good forum on the website with links to many others. You can buy a ready made one from wicked device, then add those particulate or other sensors as plug-and-play.
A DIYer Chris: a website on how to put a particulate sensor together
I thought of starting with the diagrams that this website shows and moving on from there.We are going to order a Dylos air sensor and we already have a hazdust epam5000.
The most detailed instructions I could find.
This one has a nice set of DIY instructions but doesn't include the SHARP dust sensor.
The Dylos Air sensor: Measure dust for around $300
the Lascar CO sensor: Measure CO and log data for about $150