Air pollution is an up and current issue. It is a subject with implications on public health and policy. Although there are several static sensors across cities, these do not necessarily capture results for many projects. The Born in Bradford Sensor Monitor project looks at measuring and visualising the levels of air pollution experienced by a number of children on their way to school before and after the implementation of a `clean air zone’. This makes use of portable air pollution sensors equipped with global positioning system and humidity sensors.
The general sensor setup consists of a RaspberryPi Zero (a credit card sized computer), an Alphasense OPC-R1 air pollution monitor (particulate counter), and a GPS position sensor.
This setup is small enough to be easily carried and powered by a portable power pack, like the ones used with your phone.
The sensor will record each students journey across town and measure the air pollution levels experienced as part of this. Such information will be encrypted and uploaded to the Leeds servers whenever the device is charging and has access to a WiFi network. The anonymous results can then be visualised with the aid of OpenStreetMap and compared against regular snapshots of the traffic within a region.