Sensing particulate matter where it really matters

Within the two days of the Cyclehack Berlin we developed a functional prototype which measures the air quality while being mobile on a bike. The idea was to combine the Airrohr from the initiative with the LoRaWAN technology. We now sending the exact location of the LoRa Node in combination with the measurement data from the NovaPM10 sensor. This then gets visualized on a map to enable people to watch where a bicyclist gets into trouble in terms of air quality.

When eating an elephant take one bite at a time

We figured it would be helpful to segment the whole project into smaller steps so that everyone involved can easily choose what he would like to work on. Friday was pitch day. The idea was already clear to me. I just had to present it in a understandable manner so I could inspire as many people as possible. The team formed quickly and we were ready to start. First I quickly explained what LoRa is and does and then segmented the whole work into smaller steps.

Why particulate matter?

Since we are facing many challenges regarding air pollution in big cities it’s important to actually show everyone what’s going on. Using data to communicate the problems is an important step to initiate next steps to eventually make our all lives a little healthier. In Germany the Umweltbundesamt provides a data platform where one can download all the data from the static monitoring stations in Germany. In 2016 there are almost 350 stations measuring PM10, PM2,5 and the NO2 pollution. Another great project comes from Stuttgart. not only provides data, collected by citizen and visualized on a map. They also are providing a toolkit for building your own PM sensor.

With Sense10 we are taking the particulate matter sensing to the next level by enabling people carrying the sensors with them. We want you to attach theAirrohr on your bicycle or stroller or backpack. We want you to measure particulate matter where you go. We think this is an important information we need to communicate. We want to answer the question:

How is the individual citizen affected by air pollution on a daily basis?

Read about this project in detail on