There’s a lot to like about this Arduino air quality monitor by maker Sachin Venkatresh. Although it is not really robust enough for large environmental issues, it is a great project for those looking to capture dust levels in households or offices. Sachin named it Aerobot (not to be mistaken for a board by the same name), and you can find his build on Instructables. Its simple breadboard setup includes an Arduino Uno, a DHT 11 sensor and a Sharp Optical Dust Sensor all outputting to an LCD. Here’s what Sachin has to say about the dust sensor.
The dust sensor is very quick and can read even the slightest contamination in the surroundings. its maximum range is unknown but it usually is ineffective after the dust density goes over 600. But this is far more than the average contamination of 150.
An added bonus on this project is the installation of an ultrasonic sensor, which eliminates false readings due to blocking of the sensors. Oh yes, and Sachin includes a buzzer, which may come in handy for those with dust allergies. Considering I first found this project on YouTube, I’m really happy to discover that the build is documented. There’s a lot of people who are curious about air quality and this is a great first project to get someone involved in citizen science. If you want to find out more about simple temperature and humidity sensors, check out our DHT Sensor learning guide. You can determine which sensor is best for your project and get started with your own environmental data.