Air Sensor Toolbox: Announcements
February 5, 2018
New Guide and Analysis Tool Released to Help Evaluate and Interpret Air Sensor Data
EPA has developed a guide and analysis tool for citizen scientists to evaluate the performance of low-cost air sensors and interpret the data they collect to help learn about local air quality. While EPA developed both of these resources to be suitable for citizen scientists and communities, they are also useful to the broader air sensor user community, both experts and non-experts.
January 11, 2018
EPA-Developed Low-Cost Sensor Pods Tested in Southern California
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in collaboration with the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (SCAQMD) Air Quality Sensor Performance Evaluation Center (AQ-SPEC), deployed custom-built sensor pods at nine locations throughout southern California from January 2017 to April 2017 to evaluate their performance under “real-life” conditions. The goal of this project was to characterize the performance of these newly developed pods and better understand their potential applications for community monitoring.
December 21, 2017
Slideshow Features New Monitoring Technology
What do an electric car, a portable lunchbox-sized monitor and solar-powered air sensors have in common? They are all being used in a year-long study to investigate local air quality in three neighborhoods in Kansas City where residents are exposed to air pollution from highways, railways and industry. A new slideshow provides information about the innovative monitoring technology being used in the study.
EPA researchers launched the year-long study in October that uses stationary and mobile measurement technologies to monitor air quality in the community. Local students are participating in a citizen science project for the study using the AirMapper portable monitor developed by EPA. Researchers conducting the study, named the Kansas City Transportation and Local-Scale Air Quality Study (KC-TRAQS), will share results with residents, students and others interested in the project
July 17, 2017
UN Prototype Air Sensor Unit Evaluated
In response to a cooperative research and development agreement with the United Nation’s Environmental Programme, EPA scientists conducted a 30-day performance evaluation of the UN’s prototype multipollutant air sensor pod. Data were collected and analyzed for the performance characteristics of the pod including its particulate matter sensor. The activity is part of ongoing research to evaluate and develop Next Generation air sensor technology. Results of the UN monitor study are described in the Performance Evaluation of the United Nations Environment Programe Air Quality Monitoring Unit Report. Other air sensor evaluations are available on the toolbox.
April 6, 2017
Announcing the Wildland Fire Sensors Challenge
EPA and five other federal agencies have announced a Wildland Fire Sensors Challenge seeking an accurate, lower-cost, and low-maintenance air quality monitoring system that can be used during a wildfire or controlled fire. The data provided by the sensor system will help federal, state, local and tribal agencies protect the health of first responders and communities affected by the smoke.
For more information, visit: www.challenge.gov/challenge/wildland-fire-sensors-challenge
December 16, 2016
Slideshow Highlights Air Sensor Science and Education at EPA
EPA's scientists and engineers are pushing the scientific frontiers in low-cost and portable air sensor monitoring that is engaging communities to learn about their air quality. At the same time, they are inspiring young people to learn what science can do to protect the air we breathe. A slideshow highlights accomplishments from 2012-2016.
December 15, 2016
EPA Announces Smart City Air Challenge Awardees
EPA has selected the City of Baltimore and the Lafayette, Louisiana, Consolidated Government as awardees of the Smart City Air Challenge. The challenge encourages communities to install hundreds of air quality sensors and share the data with the public. The awards will enable the communities to deploy hundreds of air quality sensors and make the data public.
December 13, 2016
NACEPT 2016 Report: Environmental Protection Belongs to the Public, A Vision for Citizen Science at EPA
The National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT) formally transmitted its report to the EPA on citizen science. In this report, NACEPT developed thirteen robust recommendations regarding actions that EPA should take in response to technological and sociological developments in the area of citizen science. The report urges EPA to embrace citizen science and capacity building initiatives that further advance the agency's mission of protecting the environment and human health.
November 17, 2016
Results available for commercial air sensor evaluations
A study that evaluated the performance of 11 commercial air sensors has been published in the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques. Researchers compared the commercial devices with high-quality stationary EPA monitors to evaluate their ability to provide comparable data. They also evaluated the feasibility of deploying a local wireless sensor network. The sensors tested are listed in performance evaluation tables on the Air Sensor Toolbox web page.
November 4, 2016
EPA Installing Air Monitoring Stations at Memphis Area Transit Facilities
EPA announces a collaborative project with the Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) and the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) that is field testing newly installed, lower-cost air pollution sensor pods in the Memphis, Tennessee area. Air sensor pods have been installed at sixteen locations including seven SCHD locations and three MATA transit facilities.
EPA's CitySpace research project is field testing these air sensor monitors to understand how this emerging technology can add valuable information on air pollution patterns in neighborhoods. The sensors are being installed and data will be captured over a six month period concluding in February 2017.
August 30, 2016
EPA offers up to $80,000 to communities to develop air sensor data best practices
EPA is challenging communities across the country to collect data using hundreds of air quality sensors as part of the Smart City Air Challenge. The agency is offering up to $40,000 apiece to two communities to help them develop and implement plans for collecting and sharing data from air quality sensors. Application Deadline: October 28, 2016. Announcement of Winners: Around December 1, 2016
To learn more, visit the Smart City Air Challenge website.
August 9, 2016
Research projects to study how communities use air sensor technology
Six research organizations have received funding from EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program to develop and use low-cost air pollution sensor technology, while engaging communities to learn about their local air quality.
The research teams will work with other organizations and community groups to explore how scientific data can be effectively gathered and used by communities to learn about local air quality and evaluate the accuracy of data produced by sensors and sensor networks. For example, one project will compare the sensors with high-quality data from existing monitoring technology that are used to support air quality regulations.
RETIGO Training on Aug. 31, 2016
A live training seminar will be held Aug 31, 2016 at 1 p.m. (EDT) that provides an introduction to the Real-Time Geospatial Data Viewer. This is an interactive web platform where you can upload field data that you have collected and explore it on multiple graph interfaces.
Air Sensor Evaluation Study Under Way
EPA is conducting laboratory and field-based evaluations of air sensors to encourage the development of accurate and reliable monitoring devices in the marketplace for the public. A new round of testing began in spring 2016 at EPA’s main research campus in Research Triangle Park, NC.