The rise of low-cost sensing for managing air pollution in cities
01 Feb 2015-
TL;DR: Forouzanfar et al. as discussed by the authors provide a review of the new air pollution sensing methods to determine indoor air quality and discuss how real-time sensing could bring a paradigm shift in controlling the concentration of key air pollutants in billions of urban houses worldwide.
Abstract: Household air pollution is ranked the 9th largest Global Burden of Disease risk (Forouzanfar et al., The Lancet 2015). People, particularly urban dwellers, typically spend over 90% of their daily time indoors, where levels of air pollution often surpass those of outdoor environments. Indoor air quality (IAQ) standards and approaches for assessment and control of indoor air require measurements of pollutant concentrations and thermal comfort using conventional instruments. However, the outcomes of such measurements are usually averages over long integrated time periods, which become available after the exposure has already occurred. Moreover, conventional monitoring is generally incapable of addressing temporal and spatial heterogeneity of indoor air pollution, or providing information on peak exposures that occur when specific indoor sources are in operation. This article provides a review of the new air pollution sensing methods to determine IAQ and discusses how real-time sensing could bring a paradigm shift in controlling the concentration of key air pollutants in billions of urban houses worldwide. However, we also show that besides the opportunities, challenges still remain in terms of maturing technologies, or data mining and their interpretation. Moreover, we discuss further research and essential development needed to close gaps between what is available today and needed tomorrow. In particular, we demonstrate that awareness of IAQ risks and availability of appropriate regulation are lagging behind the technologies.
01 Jan 2014
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors reviewed some fundamental drivers of UFP emissions and dispersion, and highlighted unresolved challenges, as well as recommendations to ensure sustainable urban development whilst minimising any possible adverse health impacts.
Abstract: Ultrafine particles (UFP; diameter less than 100 nm) are ubiquitous in urban air, and an acknowledged risk to human health. Globally, the major source for urban outdoor UFP concentrations is motor traffic. Ongoing trends towards urbanisation and expansion of road traffic are anticipated to further increase population exposure to UFPs. Numerous experimental studies have characterised UFPs in individual cities, but an integrated evaluation of emissions and population exposure is still lacking. Our analysis suggest that average exposure to outdoor UFPs in Asian cities is about four-times larger than those in European cities but impacts on human health are largely unknown. This article reviews some fundamental drivers of UFP emissions and dispersion, and highlights unresolved challenges, as well as recommendations to ensure sustainable urban development whilst minimising any possible adverse health impacts.
26 Feb 2016
01 Jul 2018
Queensland University of Technology1, Norwegian Institute for Air Research2, United States Environmental Protection Agency3, University of Surrey4, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology5, Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department6, City University of Hong Kong7, Curtin University8, Southern Cross University9
TL;DR: In this article, the authors conducted a comprehensive literature search including both the scientific and grey literature, and concluded that there is no clear answer to the question, due to a lack of: sensor/monitor manufacturers' quantitative specifications of performance, consensus regarding recommended end-use and associated minimal performance targets of these technologies, and the ability of the prospective users to formulate the requirements for their applications, or conditions of the intended use.
Abstract: Over the past decade, a range of sensor technologies became available on the market, enabling a revolutionary shift in air pollution monitoring and assessment. With their cost of up to three orders of magnitude lower than standard/reference instruments, many avenues for applications have opened up. In particular, broader participation in air quality discussion and utilisation of information on air pollution by communities has become possible. However, many questions have been also asked about the actual benefits of these technologies. To address this issue, we conducted a comprehensive literature search including both the scientific and grey literature. We focused upon two questions: (1) Are these technologies fit for the various purposes envisaged? and (2) How far have these technologies and their applications progressed to provide answers and solutions? Regarding the former, we concluded that there is no clear answer to the question, due to a lack of: sensor/monitor manufacturers' quantitative specifications of performance, consensus regarding recommended end-use and associated minimal performance targets of these technologies, and the ability of the prospective users to formulate the requirements for their applications, or conditions of the intended use. Numerous studies have assessed and reported sensor/monitor performance under a range of specific conditions, and in many cases the performance was concluded to be satisfactory. The specific use cases for sensors/monitors included outdoor in a stationary mode, outdoor in a mobile mode, indoor environments and personal monitoring. Under certain conditions of application, project goals, and monitoring environments, some sensors/monitors were fit for a specific purpose. Based on analysis of 17 large projects, which reached applied outcome stage, and typically conducted by consortia of organizations, we observed that a sizable fraction of them (~ 30%) were commercial and/or crowd-funded. This fact by itself signals a paradigm change in air quality monitoring, which previously had been primarily implemented by government organizations. An additional paradigm-shift indicator is the growing use of machine learning or other advanced data processing approaches to improve sensor/monitor agreement with reference monitors. There is still some way to go in enhancing application of the technologies for source apportionment, which is of particular necessity and urgency in developing countries. Also, there has been somewhat less progress in wide-scale monitoring of personal exposures. However, it can be argued that with a significant future expansion of monitoring networks, including indoor environments, there may be less need for wearable or portable sensors/monitors to assess personal exposure. Traditional personal monitoring would still be valuable where spatial variability of pollutants of interest is at a finer resolution than the monitoring network can resolve.
01 Jan 2018
TL;DR: Ahangar et al. as discussed by the authors developed a semi-empirical dispersion model to estimate the impact of a solid barrier upwind of a highway on concentrations downwind of the road.
Abstract: Author(s): Enayati Ahangar, Faraz | Advisor(s): Venkatram, Akula | Abstract: Dispersion models play an essential role in understanding the impact of pollutant emissions on air quality. Once their results have been evaluated with observations, they are used by regulatory agencies and planning bodies to permit new sources and develop policies to mitigate the impact of emissions on air quality. In my research, I developed and applied a class of dispersion models referred to as semi-empirical models whose formulation depends on representing some of the governing processes with parameters whose values are obtained by fitting model estimates to corresponding observations. In recent years, roadway design is suggested as a potential strategy to mitigate the impact of vehicular emissions on near-road air quality. In my research, I developed a dispersion model to estimate the impact of a solid noise barrier upwind of a highway on concentrations downwind of the road. The results showed that an upwind barrier reduces the downwind concentration by enhancing turbulence and shifting the emissions upwind through the action of the recirculating zone formed behind the upwind barrier. I also propose a tentative model to estimate on-road concentrations within the recirculation zone.. The applicability of the downwind barrier dispersion models to real-world measurements was also explored in my research. First, a field study was conducted to measure ultra-fine particles (UFP) concentration and micrometeorology data near a roadside barrier in Riverside, California. Two models for downwind barriers were evaluated with data collected and emission factors were estimated for the fleet. The primary effect of a downwind barrier was equivalent to shifting the line sources on the road upwind by a distance of about HU(H/2)/u*.Next, UFP concentrations were measured downwind of a solid barrier and a solid barrier with vegetation simultaneously to estimate the incremental effect of tall vegetation on the mitigation caused by a solid barrier. The vegetation above the solid barrier reduced turbulence levels of the air passing through it and added to the concentration reduction induced by the solid barrier most of the time; however, this was not the case for all of the observed data. I then apply dispersion models at regional scales by interpreting PM_2.5 concentrations measured by a network of 40 low-cost monitors located in the Imperial Valley of southern California. This valley is bordered by deserts on the east and the west, the Salton Sea on the North, and Mexico to the South. Particulate matter can be transport into the valley from across these borders, and be generated from within the valley itself because of agricultural activity. These borders are represented by line sources and the valley by an area source. I estimate the emissions from these sources by fitting model estimates to daily and annually averaged measurements made at 40 monitors. Once these emissions are determined, I use them as inputs in the dispersion model to construct PM2.5 maps at a much finer resolution than that provided by the monitors.
TL;DR: The establishment of principles and test procedures to ensure safe manufacture and use of nanomaterials in the marketplace is urgently required and achievable.
Abstract: Nanomaterials are engineered structures with at least one dimension of 100 nanometers or less. These materials are increasingly being used for commercial purposes such as fillers, opacifiers, catalysts, semiconductors, cosmetics, microelectronics, and drug carriers. Materials in this size range may approach the length scale at which some specific physical or chemical interactions with their environment can occur. As a result, their properties differ substantially from those bulk materials of the same composition, allowing them to perform exceptional feats of conductivity, reactivity, and optical sensitivity. Possible undesirable results of these capabilities are harmful interactions with biological systems and the environment, with the potential to generate toxicity. The establishment of principles and test procedures to ensure safe manufacture and use of nanomaterials in the marketplace is urgently required and achievable.
11 Aug 2003
TL;DR: The history of research in sensor networks over the past three decades is traced, including two important programs of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) spanning this period: the Distributed Sensor Networks (DSN) and the Sensor Information Technology (SensIT) programs.
Abstract: Wireless microsensor networks have been identified as one of the most important technologies for the 21st century. This paper traces the history of research in sensor networks over the past three decades, including two important programs of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) spanning this period: the Distributed Sensor Networks (DSN) and the Sensor Information Technology (SensIT) programs. Technology trends that impact the development of sensor networks are reviewed, and new applications such as infrastructure security, habitat monitoring, and traffic control are presented. Technical challenges in sensor network development include network discovery, control and routing, collaborative signal and information processing, tasking and querying, and security. The paper concludes by presenting some recent research results in sensor network algorithms, including localized algorithms and directed diffusion, distributed tracking in wireless ad hoc networks, and distributed classification using local agents.
01 Sep 2010-IEEE Communications Magazine
TL;DR: This article surveys existing mobile phone sensing algorithms, applications, and systems, and discusses the emerging sensing paradigms, and formulates an architectural framework for discussing a number of the open issues and challenges emerging in the new area ofMobile phone sensing research.
Abstract: Mobile phones or smartphones are rapidly becoming the central computer and communication device in people's lives. Application delivery channels such as the Apple AppStore are transforming mobile phones into App Phones, capable of downloading a myriad of applications in an instant. Importantly, today's smartphones are programmable and come with a growing set of cheap powerful embedded sensors, such as an accelerometer, digital compass, gyroscope, GPS, microphone, and camera, which are enabling the emergence of personal, group, and communityscale sensing applications. We believe that sensor-equipped mobile phones will revolutionize many sectors of our economy, including business, healthcare, social networks, environmental monitoring, and transportation. In this article we survey existing mobile phone sensing algorithms, applications, and systems. We discuss the emerging sensing paradigms, and formulate an architectural framework for discussing a number of the open issues and challenges emerging in the new area of mobile phone sensing research.
01 Dec 2001-Journal of Electroceramics
TL;DR: In this article, the authors provide a frame model that deals with all contributions involved in conduction within a real world sensor, and then summarize the contributions together with their interactions in a general applicable model for real world gas sensors.
Abstract: Tin dioxide is a widely used sensitive material for gas sensors. Many research and development groups in academia and industry are contributing to the increase of (basic) knowledge/(applied) know-how. However, from a systematic point of view the knowledge gaining process seems not to be coherent. One reason is the lack of a general applicable model which combines the basic principles with measurable sensor parameters. The approach in the presented work is to provide a frame model that deals with all contributions involved in conduction within a real world sensor. For doing so, one starts with identifying the different building blocks of a sensor. Afterwards their main inputs are analyzed in combination with the gas reaction involved in sensing. At the end, the contributions are summarized together with their interactions. The work presented here is one step towards a general applicable model for real world gas sensors.
TL;DR: This Review highlights the recent developments and reflects the impact of nanoscience on sensor technology, which can be improved and novel sensor concepts based on bottom-up approaches show that the sensor properties can be controlled by molecular design.
Abstract: Sensor technology is one of the most important key technologies of the future with a constantly increasing number of applications, both in the industrial and in the private sectors. More and more gas sensors are used for the control of technical processes, in environment monitoring, healthcare, and automobiles. Consequently, the development of fast and sensitive gas sensors with small cross sensitivity is the subject of intense research, propelled by strategies based on nanoscience and -technology. Established systems can be improved and novel sensor concepts based on bottom-up approaches show that the sensor properties can be controlled by molecular design. This Review highlights the recent developments and reflects the impact of nanoscience on sensor technology.
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