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Air Quality Sensors, Projects

IOT Air Quality Sensor: Firecracker After math Analyzer

Prelude

Pollution is a big problem today and its an ever increasing problem. It is said that prevention is better than cure, but a lot of people will spread pollution for personal reasons and create an environment which is un-health and with serious long term problems. Our cities are growing and spreading everyday and the concrete jungle is running over the real one. Technology can be an enabler to help protect the environment as well as monitor the world which can give us a more detailed view of how we are destroying the world we live in. The Internet-Of-Things or Internet-Of-Everything is a way of connecting everything to the cloud. By way of internet connectivity, events can be handled real-time as well as mass data collection can be made extremely easy.

Motivation

The festival of lights- Diwali is celebrated in India with lights and firecrackers.
These fire crackers look beautiful to the eye, but what they do to the air is quite ugly. Here is a short summary of the side effects.(taken from the internet)

  1. Noise: At the distances where people watching fireworks usually are, noise levels can exceed the impuls noise limit according to SUVA guidelines. The nuisance of firework noise should not be ignored. For noise-sensitive groups, this nuisance can be substantial, since it causes anxiety and corresponding stress reactions. There are no studies of this effect.
  2. Air pollution: In the combustion of fireworks, the main component gunpowder gives rise to the solid reaction products such as potassium carbonate, potassium sulphate and potassium sulphide, together with unreacted sulphur. The reaction products from effects mixtures are generally solids and consist of metal oxides and, less often, chlorides. The air pollution caused by firework reaction products is well documented by measurements in Switzerland and abroad. Fine particulates are notable in reaching record short-term pollution levels. Evaluation of data from Swiss gauging stations shows that over a short period, such high levels of respirable fine particulates (PM10) may be reached that the 24h average values may exceed the 50 µg/m 3 threshold stipulated in the Ordinance on Air Pollution Control (OAPC). This value is laid down for health reasons and may be exceeded only once a year. International surveys – in more polluted areas – show that susceptible people may be measurably affected.
  3. Dioxins can be released during the combustion of copper containing fireworks. Laboratory experiments, which investigated the extent of dioxin formation caused by setting off various pyrotechnic devices, and measurements taken during Bonfire Night in Great Britain where both bonfires and fireworks are burned as in Switzerland, indicate that bonfires are a far more significant source of dioxin than pyrotechnic devices, especially when waste wood and other wastes are burned.
  4. Pollution of other environmental compartments and indirect effects: The firework reaction products that are emitted are deposited and thus enter the soil, crops and, in the case of fireworks over water, standing waters. This pollution has not been measured yet. Therefore, the deposition of firework-related elements must be estimated from model calculations.

Ecotoxicological and toxicological benchmarks for all firework-related elements were taken from literature. The present assessment shows that firework-related depositions do not cause problematic soil and water contents, and the evaluations suggest that indirect effects (uptake through the food chain, soil ingestion by children) are also not critical.

In 2012 the pollution levels went up by 30% as the aftermath to the celebrations. This is cause for concern. It may seem that the pollution will stay out of the house but not so. Last year, our own house was filled by smoke and fog on the Diwali Night and many had problems breathing.

If this data is collected and we can show how long it takes for the environment to recover from the pollution by the trees. Also how different are areas with and without the trees

Project Proposal: The Firecracker Aftermath Analyzer

In order to measure the effect of Diwali firecrackers in India, a air pollution analyzer will be designed. It will have sensors for the following:

  1. Air Temperature
  2. NO2 Levels
  3. Single Sensor for carbon monixide, alcohol, acetone, thinner, formaldehyde
  4. particulate levels in the air
  5. Humidy
  6. Carbon Monoxide (CO)
  7. O2
  8. Sulphur based gases and
  9. Nitrus Gasous

The device will be based on the CC3200 which will be powered from the Fuel Booster Pack just like from my design in the Forget Me Not Challenge. It will charge using a solar panel and will also have a secondary battery pack which will be used only to power the sensors. The sensors can be selectively enabled or disabled remotely. It will connect to the Air Vantage Cloud for logging the data in real time. The system will demonstrate the pollution levels before Diwali and the days after. The data will also be collected by a in-building system made up of the BeagleBoneBlack which will also have similar sensors to the outside unit and will also talk to the Air Vantage Cloud.

In The Air Challenge
In The Air Challenge

Work Plan

As with most of my designs, I am working on the functionality documentation in detail and then will proceed with the architecture and implementation. In the allotted three months, I am planing to finish the design in the first two months and have trials in the last month. The last week will be tweaking and polishing the design into a usable product.

The above model will be modified a bit as I have started making changes already and the final system will not be an elaborate design as the one in the previous challenge. The focus is on monitoring air and creating better conditions for living. I am planing to add a particulate matter filter for a part of the house which will be controlled by this system. I will also be bringing to life an old project of mine which used solar panels to power a wireless phone booth. I will be taking the solar charging part from the design and incorporating it into the system.

In addition to the above, I have plans to integrate the system into the “Forget What?” project’s OpenHAB for local control.
Lastly I have a quadcopter which I will try and bring into play which will enable me to take air quality measurements at some low altitudes. This will be the more fun part

Conclusion

The system proposed may look like something that has already been done, but the range of sensors proposed as well as the connectivity is yet unseen. The project will be able to provide valuable insight into how firecrackers cause immense pollution which cannot be reversed immediately. The long term effects need to be monitored and this system will do just that.
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