A portable air quality monitoring unit and a modular, flexible tool for on-field evaluation and calibration of low-cost gas sensors
In recent years, several research projects have investigated the use of low-cost devices for air pollution monitoring. As a result of these research activities, various air quality monitoring systems have been developed following diverse approaches and methods. However, in most cases, these monitoring systems lack flexibility, extendibility, and openness. The device presented in this article provides a cost-effective, expandable, flexible, open-source solution for air quality monitoring activities. SentinAir has been designed to act as a portable air quality monitoring unit and also for facilitating the on-field evaluation and calibration of air quality sensors. The high grade of flexibility featuring this tool allows the data acquisition from heterogeneous kinds of devices deployed far from the laboratory facilities, even in areas featured by a weak or unstable Internet connection. Moreover, the system proposed in this article provides a reasonably easy way to integrate a wide range of sensors or devices produced by diverse manufacturers, offering a tool that is not bound to use a limited and fixed set of sensors or devices. The modularity approach followed in SentinAir design constitutes another key factor to consider: it allows each user to easily adapt this device to his requirements. This system is therefore capable of providing a robust framework for environmental monitoring activities to researchers or low-skilled end-users.