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Low-power sensors offer real-time air quality monitoring

Posted: 01 Jul 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Imec? air quality monitoring? sensor? NO2? Holst Centre?

Imec and Holst Centre have developed what they say is a small NO2 sensor with low power consumption in the mW range. According to them, the sensors nodes are being tested real-life for air quality monitoring.

The sensors have a low detection limit for nitrogen dioxide (NO2)(Imec stated that while wearable technology that measures body parameters has become increasingly popular in recent years, the concept that Imec terms Intuitive Internet of Things (IoT) is next on the horizon: connecting everybody and everything everywhere with data stored in the cloud, turning the massive amount of data in information to make the right decisions, to take the right actions exactly as we need or want. The IoT, Imec said, is expected to manage the sustainability, complexity and safety of our world. It will increase our comfort and wellbeing in many ways.

NO2 sensor

Health issues resulting from poor air quality are a growing concern for consumers and accurate monitoring is becoming more and more in demand, for both outdoor and indoor environments.

Air quality is typically measured on just a few distinct locations per city, with specialised equipment. Many current gas sensors are large, have high power consumption and are too cost prohibitive to be implemented on a large scale for IoT applications. Imec and Holst Centre have developed small, simple, low power and high quality autonomous sensors that wirelessly communicate with the environment and the cloud.

Imec and Holst Centres NO2 sensors were integrated in the Aireas air quality network, a multiple sensor network in the city centre of Eindhoven (the Netherlands). The purpose was to test in actual outdoor conditions and over long term the stability of the sensors, and benchmark them against established reference sensors. The sensors have been operational since early May 2015 and have contributed valuable outdoor sensor data since then. During traffic rush hours, the sensors detect a significant increase of NO2 concentration up to the health safety limits.

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