Citizen Sense has been developing materials for its next project area, “Urban Sensing,” including a Dustbox particulate matter (PM 2.5) sensor that will be used for community monitoring in Deptford and New Cross in South London to take place from the autumn of 2016 to spring 2017.

The interior electronics consist of an optical PM 2.5 sensor, wifi connectivity, microcontroller and miniature fan to ensure constant air flow.

For data analytics, we will be piping data to our Airsift tool (developed with Lau Thiam Kok), where we will also be comparing the PM 2.5 data to data on weather conditions, including temperature, humidity, wind speed and wind direction.

We are working with Benjamin Barratt at King’s College London to calibrate the sensors with reference monitors.

The 3-D printed ceramic shape (developed with Francesca Perona) draws on the form of different types of particulate matter as captured through scanning electron microscope image analysis. Particulate matter consists of a wide range of materials, from salt and silica to diesel, pollen, and carbon–at times congealed with volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The prototype will be on display at the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF)_2016 in Manchester from 25-27 July as part of the ERC=Science Squared initiative for communicating ERC-funded research to a wider range of publics.

During ESOF 2016, we will be piping test data to our Airsift platform as raw counts, as calibration tests are still underway for producing readings in micrograms per cubic meter.

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