Measuring air quality using wireless self-powered devices

Kyle M. Reilly, Michael T. Birner, Nathan Johnson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations


High concentrations of carbon monoxide and particulate matter can cause respiratory disease, illness, and death in high doses. Air pollution is a concern in many urban areas of emerging markets that rely on outdated technologies for transportation and electricity generation; rural air quality is also a concern when noting the high prevalence of products of incomplete combustion resulting from open fires for cooking and heating. Monitoring air quality is an essential step to identifying these and other factors that affect air quality, and thereafter informing engineering and policy decisions to improve the quality of air. This study seeks to measure changes in air quality across spatial and temporal domains, with a specific focus on emerging markets and the developing world. A prototype, low-cost air quality monitoring device has been developed to measure the concentrations of particulate matter, ozone, and carbon monoxide at a rate of one sample per minute. The device communicates data wirelessly via cell towers or using a nearby Wi-Fi network, and can run off-grid using a solar PV-battery system. The device can be replicated and deployed across regions for high-fidelity emissions monitoring to explore the effect of anthropogenic and environmental factors on intra-hour air quality. Hardware and software used in the device is described, and the wireless data communication protocols and capabilities are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 5th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2015
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781467365611
StatePublished - Dec 2 2015
Event5th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2015 - Seattle, United States
Duration: Oct 8 2015Oct 11 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 5th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2015


Other5th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Development
  • Education


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