Public Lab Research note

Sensoring Citizenship

by silentsairam | January 07, 2020 09:48 07 Jan 09:48 | #22231 | #22231

This article enlightens on How Sensor Technology helps citizens to Solve Local Issues. Here we take a DIY (Air Quality Monitoring device) as a Case study.

We focus on Public Problem Solving with Technology and "Sensors" play a major role in collecting Data and help in solving issues.

What does a Sensor do? Think of the Health Band that some of us use everyday:-P

A sensor is a device that measures a physical property and responds to that measurement or records that observation as a data point.

With Sensor, we analyze data from existing sensors, by deploying our own sensors or relying on readers to deploy sensors. They interpret and visualize the resulting data sets to tell stories rooted in data. Examples of Sensors in City: GPS sensors in App Sharing Bikes, a Surveillance camera in places, etc

How we are Solving particular issues with sensors?

I bought the #AirSense form Public Lab and built the Air Quality monitoring station, that collects Data & levels of Particulate Matter such as 1.0, 2.5 and 10( across anyplace) to keep informed on Air we Inhale and also solve the Air Pollution issue in our Local area like Garbage Burning, Construction Debris, Vehicular Emission, Traffic Congestion, Factory gas emissions, etc.

D-TIY (Do-Try it Yourself): Test 1

Used Arduino Nano + Plantwower PMS5003 model of sensor. Added on (Visual display screen for anyone to see the Air quality then and there) image description

I wanted to carry the device anywhere and test across various locations. So, used cardboard and made necessary ventilation for the Air to enter in and enable the sensor to sense the particles in the air. Also, a vent for the power cable along with Power bank(max. of 2 A)


How citizens benefiting with this device? image description

I build the next version of the AQM (Air quality monitoring station) with Wi-Fi enabled and installed /testing across 3 places in different locations(Indoor Hostel, Indoor Lab, Outdoor ) to collect, collate and keep everyone informed on “Air Pollution and Air Quality “ in the place they live in. It has been more than 45 days since we began this Sensor Journalism for solving the issue of Air pollution.

image description

Live Streaming of Particulate Matter Data:

User Feedforward: A user who deployed the sensor in his home for the past 35 days. One day he looked into the LCD(Visual display screen) and saw the PM2.5 index as 88 and denoting “BAD”. He was curious to know why the spike in Air quality levels. The Spike in the PM2.5 Level was due to “Garbage Burning” near to the apartment where the user is living and this simple device forms a testimonial for the user to SOLVE the Civic issue. She was quite impressed with the nearly accurate measurements of the PM2.5 index from the device based on the activities carried in this home/community.

Key point: Keeping informed with proper Data is key and Technology in combination with an exact message always brings the change and let us collect more Data (Water Samples, Potholes, Noise Levels, Traffic congestions, Garbage Burning points, Open Defecation, to name a few) and continue DENTING BIG.

#WeLoveMyLungs, don't we??

Spread Love, Spare Pollution :-)

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