Air Sensor Toolbox: Resources and Funding
EPA has provided guidance and other information to make decisions about using air sensors and conducting a citizen science project to measure air quality
On this page:
- Air Sensor Guidebook
- Peer Review and Supporting Literature Review of Air Sensor Technology Performance Targets
- Instruction Guide and Macro Analysis Tool
- Advice and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Citizen-Science Environmental Health Assessments
- Village Green Manual and Training Video
- Presentation from "Emerging Sensor Technologies 2014-2018 Progress Report" Webinar
- Technical Evaluation Reports
- Reports for the Citizen Science Air Monitoring Project in Newark, N.J.
- Standard Operating Procedures for Air Sensors
- Recent Technical Findings
- Training Videos from Community Air Monitoring Workshop, July 9, 2015
- Funding Opportunities
- Related Resources
- Resources from the Air Quality Sensor Performance Evaluation Center
- Resources from the European Commission Joint Research Centre
The Air Sensor Guidebook is a comprehensive resource for anyone interested in monitoring local air quality. Topics covered include background on air pollutants and uses for air sensors, what to look for in a sensor, how to collect useful data using sensors, sensor performance guidance, and maintaining your sensing device.
To help improve data quality for sensors applied in a nonregulatory fashion, which is growing in prevalence, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering development of a new voluntary sensor certification program for air sensors. The objective of the report provided here was to evaluate peer-reviewed literature and other sources to identify performance attributes and metrics needed to obtain air monitoring data that are fit for a specific purpose or application. This literature review focused on reports associated with ambient and near-source air monitoring for particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and ozone (O3).
Instruction Guide and Macro Analysis Tool for Community-led Air Monitoring
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.
Advice and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Citizen-Science Environmental Health Assessments
This paper presents two citizen science Environmental Health Assessments and reflects on a decade of collaborations. This work culminated in three lessons learned and a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), focused on public communication for citizen science projects. This work is not intended as a framework or conceptual approach, a step-by-step method, or a roadmap. It provides advice to translate research into action, and help manage expectations, facilitate understanding, and target resources.
Village Green Manual and Training Video
A manual and training video provide information on how to construct, operate and maintain a Village Green station. The Village Green Project is a community-based activity to demonstrate the capabilities of new real-time monitoring technology for residents and citizen scientists to learn about local air quality.
Presentation from "Emerging Sensor Technologies 2014-2018 Progress Report" Webinar
On April 30, 2018, EPA researchers held two webinar sessions to present general findings across a range of air sensor research activities from 2014-2018. The webinar covered topics including sensor evaluations, data analytics, ammonia detection, citizen science, and detection of select emission sources.
These reports provide summaries of performance evaluations of several low-cost air sensors currently available on the market. The sensors were tested at EPA and compared to the gold standard regulatory monitors to determine how well they perform.
- Long-term evaluation of air sensor technology under ambient conditions in Denver, Colorado
- Spatial and Temporal Trends of Air Pollutants in the South Coast Basin Using Low Cost Sensors
- Sensor Evaluation Report
- Next Generation Air Monitoring (NGAM) VOC Sensor Evaluation Report
- Evaluation of Field-deployed Low Cost PM Sensors
- Mobile Sensors & Applications for Air Pollutants
- Evaluation of Elm and Speck Sensors
Reports for the Citizen Science Air Monitoring Project in Newark, N.J.
These reports highlight a pilot project that involved EPA scientists collaborating with a community action group in Newark, NJ, to conduct a citizen science air monitoring project.
- Ironbound Community Citizen Science Toolbox Fact Sheet
- Citizen Science Air Monitor (CSAM): Quality Assurance Guidelines
- Citizen Science Air Monitor (CSAM): Operating Procedures
- Citizen Science Air Monitoring in the Ironbound Community Report
Standard Operating Procedures for Air Sensors
EPA scientists created operating guides for several low-cost air sensors listed below that are currently on the market. These guides are meant to assist users with operating, troubleshooting and calibrating the sensors.
- PerkinElmer Elm
- ToxiRAE Pro PID
- CairPol CairClip NM-VOC
- CairPol CairClip O3-NO2
- Met One 831
- UniTec Sens-It
- Dylos DC1100
Recent Technical Findings
- Community Air Sensor Network (CAIRSENSE) project: Evaluation of low-cost sensor performance in a suburban environment in the southeastern United States Exit
- Community Air Sensor Network (CAIRSENSE) Project: Lower Cost, Continuous Ambient Monitoring Methods, June 2015
- Air Sensors 2014: A New Frontier, June 2014 Exit
- Report on Wearable and Mobile Sensors for Transportation Research
- Sensor Technology - State of the Science, July 2014
- Video: Air Quality Monitoring and Sensor Technologies: Ron Williams, EPA
- Video: How to Start a Citizen Science Program: Liz Barry, Public Lab
- Video: Citizen Science Study Design: Rachelle Duvall, EPA
- Video: Data Quality Considerations Related to Lower Cost Advanced Monitors from an EPA Regional Office Perspective: Bob Judge, EPA
- Video: Overview of Quality Assurance for Citizen Science: Ron Williams, EPA
- Video: Short Term Measurements and Air Quality Messaging/Regulatory Requirements for Data: Kristen Benedict, EPA
- Frequently Asked Questions from the Community Air Monitoring Training Event
- EPA Tools and Resources Webinar: Air Quality Monitoring and Community Science
- NACEPT 2016 Report: Environmental Protection Belongs to the Public, A Vision for Citizen Science at EPA
- Village Green Project
- Real Time Geospatial Data Viewer (RETIGO)
- Sensor Technology for the 21st Century
- Citizen Science for Environmental Protection
- Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Toolkit
- Air Sensors 2018: Deliberating Performance Targets
- Low-Cost Sensor Pod Design Considerations
- Characterizing Air Quality in a Rapidly Changing World
- Advancing Air Quality Measurement Capabilities and Engaging A Kansas Community in Citizen Science
- Advanced Monitoring Technology: Opportunities and Challenges
- Findings from 2013 EPA Sensors Workshop
- Citizen Science in Newark, New Jersey
- RETIGO: Complex Air Measurement Data Made Understandable
- Six Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Lower-Cost Air Sensor Monitor
- Air Sensor Evaluation Fact Sheet
- Citizen Science Fact Sheet
- Community-led Air Sensor Evaluation: New Tools for Citizen Scientists Fact Sheet
- Ironbound Community Citizen Science Toolbox Fact Sheet
- Citizen Science Air Monitoring in Puerto Rico Fact Sheet
- Real-time Geospatial Data Viewer (RETIGO)
- Sensor Scale Pilot Project: Fact Sheet
- CitySpace Air Sensor Network Project Fact Sheet
- South Coast Air Quality Management District Project Fact Sheet
- DIY Air Quality Monitoring
- Air Quality Monitoring for Citizen Science
- Federal News Radio: Interviews on Citizen Science Exit
- EPA leverages help of citizen scientists Exit
- Putting low-cost sensors in the hands of citizen scientists Exit
- New technology assists citizen scientists Exit
- Citizen science can influence environmental policy Exit
- Citizen science exposes environmental violations Exit
- How to build an environmental toolbox Exit
- Village Green Operation/Maintenance Training Video (Full)Exit
- Be Smart, Protect Your Heart from Air Pollution
- Citizen Scientists and Personal Air monitoring
- Science to Protect the Air We Breathe
- USEPA Scientists at Work: Measuring Roadway Pollutants
These resources provide field-conducted sensor performance evaluations on multiple low-cost sensors currently available on the market. Detailed reports as well as condensed versions are available for viewing.
The following links exit the site Exit
- Air Quality Sensor Performance Evaluation Center (AQ-SPEC) main web page
- AQ-SPEC Field Evaluation Reports
The European Commission's Joint Research Centre Publications Repository includes resources on field and laboratory-conducted sensor performance evaluations on multiple low-cost sensors currently available on the market, as well as a protocol on how to evaluate and calibrate low-cost sensors for monitoring air pollution.