Science Inventory

Community Air Sensor Network (CAIRSENSE) project: Evaluation of low-cost sensor performance in a suburban environment in the southeastern United States

Citation:

Jiao, W., G. Hagler, R. Williams, R. Sharpe, R. Brown, D. Garver, R. Judge, M. Caudill, J. Rickard, M. Davis, Lewis Weinstock, S. Zimmer-Dauphinee, AND K. Buckley. Community Air Sensor Network (CAIRSENSE) project: Evaluation of low-cost sensor performance in a suburban environment in the southeastern United States. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques. Copernicus Publications, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, 9(11):5281-5292, (2016).

Impact/Purpose:

This article is describing the CAIRSENSE study, which includes field evaluation of air sensors co-located with reference monitors as well as exploring the feasibility of a sensor network design. This paper covers the first field testing year in Atlanta, GA.

Description:

Advances in air pollution sensor technology have enabled the development of small and low cost systems to measure outdoor air pollution. The deployment of a large number of sensors across a small geographic area would have potential benefits to supplement traditional monitoring networks with additional geographic and temporal measurement resolution, if the data quality were sufficient. To understand the capability of emerging air sensor technology, the Community Air Sensor Network (CAIRSENSE) project deployed low cost, continuous and commercially-available air pollution sensors at a regulatory air monitoring site and as a local sensor network over a surrounding ~2 km area in Southeastern U.S. Co-location of sensors measuring oxides of nitrogen, ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and particles revealed highly variable performance, both in terms of comparison to a reference monitor as well as whether multiple identical sensors reproduced the same signal. Multiple ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide sensors revealed low to very high correlation with a reference monitor, with Pearson sample correlation coefficient (r) ranging from 0.39 to 0.97, -0.25 to 0.76, -0.40 to 0.82, respectively. The only sulfur dioxide sensor tested revealed no correlation (r < 0.5) with a reference monitor and erroneously high concentration values. A wide variety of particulate matter (PM) sensors were tested with variable results – some sensors had very high agreement (e.g., r = 0.99) between identical sensors, however moderate agreement with a reference PM2.5 monitor (e.g., r = 0.65). For select sensors that had moderate to strong correlation with reference monitors (r > 0.5), step-wise multiple linear regression was performed to determine if ambient temperature, relative humidity (RH), or age of the sensor in sampling days could be used in a correction algorihm to improve the agreement. Maximum improvement in agreement with a reference, incorporating all factors, was observed for an NO2 sensor (multiple correlation coefficient R2adj-orig = 0.57, R2adj-final = 0.81); however, other sensors showed no apparent improvement in agreement. A four-node sensor network was successfully able to capture ozone (2 nodes) and PM (4 nodes) data for an 8 month period of time and show expected diurnal concentration patterns, as well as potential ozone titration due to near-by traffic emissions.

URLs/Downloads:

http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/amt-9-5281-2016   Exit

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 11/01/2016
Record Last Revised: 11/29/2016
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 332451

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

AIR POLLUTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL DIVISION

EMISSIONS CHARACTERIZATION AND PREVENTION BRANCH