University of Strathclyde Institute for Future Cities and CENSIS Collaborate on Sensing The City Initiative

In the city of Glasgow, Scotland, the University of Strathclyde Institute for Future Cities and the industry-led Center for Sensor and Imaging Systems (CENSIS), have collaborated to create the “Sensing the City” initiative in order to achieve a more economical way to monitor air quality as part of an effort to meet regulatory standards and reduce emissions and pollution.  The initiative combines the use of existing high-cost static sensing stations with a low-cost mobile offering that helps address gaps in coverage

The mobile IoT air quality sensor network consists of three components: a sensor node that collects data and manages the tracking sensors; a sensor hub that receives data from the node and uploads it in a cloud database; and a web-based user interface for data visualization. The networks are installed on University of Strathclyde vehicles to achieve mobility. The current sensor configuration monitors and records: Carbon Monoxide (CO), Particulate Matter (PM), temperature, humidity, pressure, Nitric Oxide (NO), Nitric Dioxide (NO2), Ozone (O3) and position.

“Countries throughout the world have a need and, in many cases, a legal obligation, to ensure air quality is meeting specific standards,” explained Gavin Burrows, CENSIS project manager. “[Existing static stations] provide highly accurate data, but their cost limits the quantity of deployments. Low-cost systems can be deployed flexibly and rapidly in mobile configurations to complement static stations. This can provide indicative IoT air quality data in areas without coverage in order to support identification of pollution sources.”

In future, the project will expand into other smart city applications, including monitoring road conditions, traffic management and energy conservation of buildings.