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Team info
Akshit Gupta
India (भारत)
Tao Chen
China (中国)
Cecilia Casolo
Italy (Italia)


The challenge

Respire: Mobile Low Cost Distributed Air Quality Monitoring In low and middle-income countries, 98% of cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants fail to meet the World Health Organization’s air quality guidelines. Air pollution is the biggest environmental health risk of our time, killing more than 4.2 million people every year. Air pollution in a particular location changes rapidly with time. Traditional air quality measurements devices, while being highly accurate, are bulky, stationary and are deployed mostly on the city's infrastructure. Moreover, in a large number of major cities throughout the world, there are actually very few air quality monitoring systems to cover the entire city. At the same time, more and more individuals and industries utilising fleet management are engaging in the purchase of vehicle tracker devices, mainly to prevent car theft and monitoring driving habits. These devices costing about €10 contain the basic hardware needed to build a wireless sensor network.

The solution

We are deveoping a sensor network of air quality monitoring devices which is relatively inexpensive (€12), self-powered and small enough to be attachable to any moving infrastructure (deployed on cars, buses, etc.). Respire will be an IoT device that consists of particulate matter counters: PM 2.5 and PM 10, three gas sensors CO, NO and Ozone, 5W solar panel with an ultracapacitor, GPS for location and LoRa module for reporting data. This device offers twin benefits: (i) for individuals and industries, it functions as a traditional vehicle tracker for fleet management and vehicle theft; (ii) for governmental organisations, it provides highly localised air quality index(AQI) of a particular area using the sensors. Further, being deployed on mobile infrastructure, makes it suitable to send air pollution data of the updated location as the vehicle moves. These sensors forming an interconnected network of nodes, are used to build a pollution map of the entire city which can be utilised by governmental organisations and individuals for effectively controlling air pollution and in effect, save lives. For instance, traffic flows can be altered in the hotspots and preventive traffic policies can be enforced in certain regions. The same insights are used to suggest healthy routes with the least pollution levels to the general public and bicyclists.

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