Empowering At-Risk Communities by Democratizing Air Quality Data
Air pollution is the largest environmental health risk in the world, according to the World Health Organization, and very few at-risk communities have access to local air quality (AQ) data or strategies to mitigate health risks. Air-quality sensor system developer Aerodyne Research Inc. (ARI) and longstanding community activist organization AIRInc joined forces to sponsor the ARI/AIRInc SCOPE team to develop a software platform for real-time, local air quality data dissemination. This platform presents pollutant data in an intuitive, actionable manner with the aim of empowering community members to understand their exposure and make more informed, AQ data-driven decisions.
To accomplish this, ARI/AIRInc-SCOPE developed a scalable network infrastructure that collects and integrates real-time distributed sensor data, starting with 8 low-cost air-quality sensors deployed around Boston's Logan Airport. Key parts of this network included developing and validating comprehensive calibration models, interpolating the data to create intuitive metrics and visualizations, and ensuring this pipeline was built on an architecture flexible enough to prepare the project to scale smoothly in the future. This initial network is a limited-scale proof of concept designed to both be immediately useful to Boston residents around Logan Airport, and to lay the groundwork for larger, higher-resolution sensor networks in support of future air quality initiatives.