Small is beautiful: Low cost air quality sensors and sensor networks show their capabilities

We have shown in previous studies the utility of low-cost electrochemical sensors in monitoring air quality pollutants including CO, NO and NO2 in an urban environment. Such low cost sensors for gas phase species and others for particulates are now increasingly becoming available for inclusion in low cost air quality monitoring networks. In this paper I show results from two network deployments, one involving CO, NO and NO2 and temperature in a 46 node network around Cambridge (UK) and a second, including in addition O3, SO2, VOCs, CO2 as well as size-speciated particulates (0.38 to 17.4 µm) and relative humidity, wind speed and direction which was currently deployed (40 nodes) around London Heathrow (LHR) airport.
For the Cambridge deployment I will show how the use of a network firstly reveals the true granularity of urban pollution, and also permits purely observational based discrimination between near-field and far field emission sources. We also compare network results with calculations from physical (ADMS, NAME) models. I then present results from the LHR deployment which reveal many features of the emission characteristics of a major airport, showing source attribution associated with different aircraft operational modes, landside and airside activities, and regional pollution episodes influenced by macro meteorology. Finally, I will present some recent developments in personal monitoring and the assessment health impacts, and will finally look forward to how low cost sensor approaches might be used for other applications, including quantifying greenhouse gas emissions.

Fritz Loewe Theatre