Air Sensors

"Air sensors" or "low-cost air sensors" refer to a variety of emerging air-pollution-measuring technologies that tend to be smaller in size, easier to operate, and less expensive than regulatory equipment utilized by agencies like the APCD. 

While there are limitations associated with sensors, especially in comparison to regulatory equipment, they can support a variety of projects like local air quality research and analysis, science education, and leak detection and emergency response at industrial facilities. The relative affordability of sensors supports a greater number of monitoring locations, supplementing local air monitoring networks and improving understanding of the local impacts of pollution sources. 

US EPA's Air Sensor Toolbox offers extensive background information on air sensors and how to operate them. The page below will offer information on APCD's air sensor resources and projects, which include research with EPA, local monitoring projects, and opportunities for collaboration with the public.

 

Collocation Shelter

The APCD operates a Air Sensor Collocation Shelter at its Cannons Lane Air Monitoring Station. This allows members of the public to site their own air sensors alongside APCD's regulatory-grade monitoring station. 

The methods used by air pollution agencies to monitor for common pollutants are strictly regulated by EPA and standardized at monitoring sites across the country. Due to the variety of sensor technologies available and their potential limitations, operating sensors at a monitoring site allows for data comparison and analysis and the development of calibration curves that increase the accuracy of lower cost sensors through data post processing. 

air sensors inside a steel collocation shelter

 

 

small metal shelter next to solar panels

 

Air Sensor Collocation Application
 

Research Projects

The APCD is working with a variety of partners to advance air sensor technology and use the equipment to learn more about our local air quality. Here are a few examples:

More Resources

Air sensor technology and the use of it are rapidly expanding, resources like the EPA's Air Sensor Toolbox and others below provide the latest science on the performance, operation, and use of air sensor monitoring systems for technology developers, air quality managers, community scientists, and the public. 

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