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IIT-M develops a low-cost mobile air pollution monitoring framework

IIT-M develops a low-cost mobile air pollution monitoring framework

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) announced that their researchers have developed a low-cost mobile air pollution monitoring framework in which pollution sensors mounted on public vehicles can dynamically monitor the air quality of an extended area at high spatial and temporal resolution.

“In view of a small number of Air Quality Index (AIQ) monitoring stations, the IIT-M researchers have developed a new technology whereby low-cost air quality sensors are mounted on vehicles to gather spatio-temporal air quality data. For the cost of a single reference monitoring station, it would be possible to map an entire city at high resolution using these low-cost mobile monitoring devices,” said a release from IIT-M.

Elaborating on the findings of the research, IIT-M professor Raghunathan Rengaswamy said that the mobile air quality sensors would find extensive use in both personal and public health initiatives.

“Personal monitoring devices can help people know the extent of pollution in their neighbourhood so that they can take protective measures. Traffic can be rerouted if local pollution levels are known. Government policy changes and smart city planning would benefit enormously from the use of mobile air quality trackers. Our affordable IoT based mobile monitoring network, coupled with data science principles offers unprecedented advantage in gathering hyperlocal insights into air quality. It is the only viable option at present, capable of offering high spatio-temporal awareness that could allow for informed mitigation and policy decisions,” he added.

In addition to pollutants, the devices can assess road roughness, potholes and UV index among others.

“The modular design of the device allows for sensors to be replaced on demand. The patented IoT side view mirror design enables the devices to be retrofitted on any kind of vehicle, ranging from buses to cars and even two wheelers. The IoT devices are also equipped with GPS and GPRS systems to collect and transmit location information. Data Science principles are used to analyse the large volume of data generated from these IoT devices,” the researchers said.

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