Portable multi-sensor air quality monitoring platform for personal exposure studies

Pelumi W. Oluwasanya, Abdullah Alzahrani, Varindra Kumar, Yarjan Abdul Samad, Luigi G. Occhipinti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Poor air quality is considered among the main causes of millions of premature deaths annually, about 8 million in 2012 according to the World Health Organization [1]. Several epidemiological studies have found a relationship between exposure beyond specified limits and burden of disease [2]. These and many more have led to an increased and urgent need to both monitor and consequently limit personal exposure to harmful pollutants [3]. There is a generalized attention from different governmental agencies globally to limit anthropogenic emissions via legislations and policies. City councils, including for instance in Cambridge, UK, promote new policies that help accelerate switching from combustion engines to electric vehicles both for public and for private transport, accompanied by installation of a distributed urban network of rapid charging points by 2020 [4], along with imposition of road taxes, and exemption from the same based on vehicles' emission of polluting gases and smaller particulate matter (PM2.5). Besides, reduction of indoor wood burning for heating, as one of the largest sources of indoor particulate matter, also has the potential to drastically reduce PM2.5 exposure levels. Citizens are nowadays more conscious of and attentive to their personal exposure to polluting agents and environments and prone to adopt cleaner solutions for living, transport, energy generation and heating. Adoption of personal exposure monitoring devices on an individual level therefore offers multiple benefits and is motivated by the willingness to continue making healthier choices in everyday life consistently. Access to high resolution data of personal exposure with high space and time accuracy is however difficult to achieve with currently available centralized or public network of monitoring stations. Providing individuals with portable devices for air quality monitoring that operate in real time and allow them to monitor and record their personalized exposure levels in combination with conventional geolocation offering a half-meter or less space resolution may become a unique instrument and breakthrough, not only for the individuals, but also for the city councils, and other government agencies to shape and fine-tune their policies for control of air quality in urban, industrial and rural areas. This is possible with the use of both existing and emerging technologies for autonomous sensors, data communication and modern mobile networks, including Internet of Things.

Original languageBritish English
Article number8868275
Pages (from-to)36-44
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Magazine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2019


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