Citizen Sense are feverishly preparing for an upcoming monitoring event in northeastern Pennsylvania to take place in mid-October. We are developing kit for monitoring air pollution in relation to fracking infrastructure. Working with off-the-shelf analogue technologies, borrowed devices including the Create Lab’s Speck for monitoring particulate matter (PM), and our own Citizen Sense kit–or Frackbox–we are planning to install sensors in collaboration with community residents at an upcoming workshop and walking event.

The Frackbox runs off a RaspberryPi and includes sensors for nitrogen oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), and benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX), as well as humidity and temperature. We will be placing the monitoring kit at sites near fracking infrastructure and at people’s homes to monitor emissions over several months. The Speck device runs into Frackbox, so that we are able to combine PM readings along with responses to other pollutants. The image below is a rough prototype of the kit in its canine stage.

Thanks to John Saffell and Krzysztof Janiuk at alphasense for their assistance in setting up their sensors, which we are working with. Thanks also to Ilah Nourbakhsh and everyone at Create Lab for their generosity in loaning the Speck kit to us.

We are looking forward to working with community members in northeasthern Pennsylvania to install sensing kit, and to having a discussion about how monitoring might inform their engagements with environmental concerns related to fracking.

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