Public Lab Research note

This is an attempt to replicate an activity.

Dustduino Build for the AMP project

by LauraChipley | October 09, 2015 15:15 09 Oct 15:15 | #12283 | #12283


[The KD2 permit near the Kanawha State Forest]

Particulate matter is a big health concern in the coal fields of West Virginia. On Mountaintop Removal (MTR) sites, approximately 5.5 million pounds of explosives are detonated every day . The resulting dust has been linked to a variety of health problems, including lung cancer.

What I want to do:

As part of the Appalachian Mountaintop Patrol project, we want to install Dustduinos in homes and businesses near MTR permits. In addition to measuring the particulate matter raining down on the community, we would like explore ways to translate Dustduino readings into the narratives of the documentary videos we are working on.

My attempt and results:

Jeff Laut, a PhD candidate at the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering helped me put together and program the Dustduino from the tutorial on the PL wiki.


It's complicated to connect a new device to NYU Poly's WiFi. We connected the RN-XV to an extra modem he had lying around in the lab. As the modem was not password protected, we added the following code to get the RN-XV to connect:

set wlan auth set wlan join 1

We also noted that it's important to make sure you are running an updated version of Arduino while installing the libraries (Jeff had an out of date version on his computer at first and we couldn't get it to work.)


Questions and next steps:

The next step will be to install the Dustduino at the offices of Coal River Mountain Watch in November. I'll post more photos, updates and likely, many questions.



Very cool! Say hi for me if Jen Osha or Rob Goodwin are still at CRMW! We did these maps way back in 2010:

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hey @jeff Laut! great to hear from you :)

what sensitivity do you need on your particular matter sensors?

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