An Update on the Citizen-Science Air Monitoring Kit

by | Nov 1, 2017

An Update on the Air Monitoring Kit


Vaishali is an intern with Gasp through the UAB Academic Small Business Alliance program.

With the help of our lovely technical advisor, Jon Self, we have built our first prototype of the Air monitor! The monitor will test humidity, temperature, air particulate matter, and sound levels through the phone.

(All of the steps are in a PowerPoint. I’ve included some of the slides at the end of this post.)

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”


First we needed to solder the Arduino and powerboost shield then we started connecting each part through wires on the breadboard. Below there is a picture of the prototype. Now you may be wondering how we get to see the information collected by the machine. The air particle sensor displays data to an Android device and runs on a battery so it is very convenient and easy to make!

The problem with our first prototype is the original particle sensor did not pick up PM2.5. So we bought a new particle sensor and we are waiting for the new part to come in. We know that the original sensor was incorrect because we compared the data to Dylos, another air particle sensor and there was a vast difference. Comparing the same time and place, the Dylos PM2.5 value was 1000 and our prototype was 6000.

We are also working on 3D printing a case to hold the air monitor parts and look stylish encasing the equipment. Hopefully this new sensor will work correctly and we can start spreading this project to schools for children to make their own!

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About Vaishali Nijampatnam
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