In January 2020, the Citizen Sense team began the outdoor co-location and calibration of Dustbox 2.0 devices. Ten Dustbox 2.0 devices were co-located for a week along with a reference instrument to enable comparison of the Dustbox sensor output with regulatory instruments. The site for the co-location study was strategically chosen so that the devices could be evaluated under varying environmental conditions with variable pollution levels. The aim was to evaluate the accuracy of the sensors (specifically focusing on PM2.5) and ensure that the sensors could capture sudden variations in the pollution concentration due to traffic and other emissions sources. The calibration process forms an important part of sensor quality control and data quality assurance for Dustbox 2.0.
The updated Dustbox devices are being used to investigate the role of low-cost sensors and digital monitoring technologies in facilitating and organizing new types of environmental engagement. Over the next few months, several field studies are being undertaken to test the AirKit in South East London in collaboration with local residents, schools, museums and Lewisham Council. Participants have been provided with instructions about how to access and analyse data. The findings from the citizen monitoring of air quality in South East London and citizen-gathered Dustbox 2.0 PM data are openly available at our Airsift data analysis toolkit. We will be posting further updates as we work with communities to test the AirKit, refine the overall toolkit, and work with data on our updated Airsift platform.