KC Digital Drive To Test Air Quality, Install Special Sensors With Support of NSF

K.C. Digital Drive in Kansas City, MO has received a grant from the National Science Foundation and is partnering with US Ignite to install special sensors to test air quality along Troost Avenue – a heavily used street in an industrial area of town.

“If we have an area where we know the conditions exist for the potential to have high levels of pollution, maybe that’s where we need to invest in green infrastructure,” said Doug Norsby, an air quality planner with the Mid-America Regional Council – a partner in the air sensor program, conducting data analysis from the results. 

The 50 sensors that will be deployed include light beams and GPS to measure air quality microclimates – including temperature, humidity, and particles (PM 2.5) – and detect pollution sources.  The data will then be stored in a Google Studio where the public can see the data on an online map that is updated every two minutes. Also – as a citizen science project – residents in the area will be able to participate by having a sensor on their property. 

“There’s still a lot of discrepancies between the East side and the West side of Troost, so by using the corridor to put sensors on both sides to see if the discrepancies end up having differences in air quality, it’s become an environmental justice issue,” said Jim Starcev with K.C. Digital Drive.

KC Digital Drive is a non-profit organization whose mission is to make Kansas City a digital leader to secure economic prosperity and improve the quality of life for all people in the region. They seek to accomplish this by: closing the digital divide; driving digital innovation; and building Kansas City’s reputation.