Residents of our local community wanted to monitor the air quality in their backyards to determine if it was being impacted by flight departures and arrivals. In this first phase of the project, we built and deployed five air quality stations, each measuring five different air quality parameters using commercial grade sensors, Raspberry Pi and Arduino, and then connected them through zymbit.connect software to generate real-time charts. The data is further integrated into environmental analysis software from Groundswell Technologies. This allows residents to now “see the air they breathe.”
The complete system is mounted in a modified solar radiation shield crowned with an IP67 enclosure. All sensors are mounted on a custom motherboard which takes care of power supply and mechanical mounting of these tiny parts. Sensor data is acquired using an Arduino Zero mounted within the top tier of the radiation shield. From there, data is packaged and sent to a Raspberry Pi via a serial connection, external to the enclosure. This way heat is properly dissipated and does not affect sensor measurements. The Raspberry Pi acts as the connection gateway and publishes the packaged data to zymbit.com/console. For immediate purposes data flow is unidirectional, meaning the unit is not subscribing to any outside streams, though this could easily be integrated. Additionally, with room to spare in the Raspberry Pi enclosure, we added a POE (Power Over Ethernet) splitter for versatility. This makes installation simple and improves overall reliability since the unit only requires a single cable connection and POE can handle wide line voltage variations. The user can then choose either a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection. Of course, a simple USB cable will also work to power the unit.
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