Special Issue "Development and Application of Low-Cost Environmental Sensors for the Evaluation of Ambient Air Quality and Related Emission Sources"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Atmospheric Techniques, Instruments, and Modeling".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (24 March 2023) | Viewed by 2379

Special Issue Editor

Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics, Wigner Research Centre for Physics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 49, H-1525 Budapest, Hungary
Interests: atmospheric aerosol; chemical composition; source apportionment; ship emissions; atmospheric nitrogen deposition; inorganic nutrients; air quality sensors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to announce to the members of the scientific community the planned launch of a new Special Issue of Atmosphere, connected to the emerging research field of low-cost sensors (LCSs). Nowadays, these devices have been receiving growing interest and usage, due to their easy field deployment and application, for instance in the monitoring of the air quality at sites located further from official environmental stations. The data acquired by LCSs can provide more details on the spatial distribution and temporal variation of anthropogenic air pollutants, such as gases and suspended particulate matter. They can be a research tool, for instance, in the assessment of human health effects and in emission source apportionment. Beyond these, the data acquired from LCSs can be applied as input parameters in air pollution dispersion models, which can improve the accuracy of approximations for local air quality and related concentration/deposition maps. LCS-based measurement systems require the careful evaluation of the analytical performance, for instance, compared with that of a calibrated reference monitoring apparatus. Consequently, the topic of instrumental limitations is also of particular importance in research and practical applications.

For the planned Special Issue, Atmosphere invites contributions in the form of research papers, communications and reviews reporting mostly, but not exclusively, on the advancement/development of designs and performance, along with indoor/outdoor applications, in the exciting field of low-cost air quality sensors. Researchers are also encouraged to send in manuscripts devoted to air pollution dispersion modelling, assisted by the utilization of LCSs.

Dr. László Bencs
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Atmosphere is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • atmospheric pollutants
  • low-cost environmental sensors
  • advanced sensor design
  • real-time air quality monitoring
  • emission sources
  • pollutant mapping
  • indoor and outdoor air
  • mobile sensors

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Design Considerations for a Distributed Low-Cost Air Quality Sensing System for Urban Environments in Low-Resource Settings
Atmosphere 2023, 14(2), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14020354 - 10 Feb 2023
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Abstract
With rapid urbanization, hazardous environmental exposures such as air, noise, plastic, soil and water pollution have emerged as a major threat to urban health. Recent studies show that 9 out of 10 people worldwide breathe contaminated air contributing to over 7 million premature [...] Read more.
With rapid urbanization, hazardous environmental exposures such as air, noise, plastic, soil and water pollution have emerged as a major threat to urban health. Recent studies show that 9 out of 10 people worldwide breathe contaminated air contributing to over 7 million premature deaths annually. Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based environmental sensing and modelling systems have potential for contributing low-cost and effective solutions by providing timely data and insights to inform mitigation and management actions. While low and middleincome countries are among those most affected by environmental health risks, the appropriateness and deployment of IoT and AI systems in low-resource settings is least understood. Motivated by this knowledge gap, this paper presents a design space for a custom environmental sensing and management system designed and developed to fill the data gaps in low-resource urban settings with a particular focus on African cities. The paper presents the AirQo system, which is the first instance of the design space requirements. The AirQo system includes: (1) autonomous AirQo sensors designed and customised to be deployed in resource constrained environments (2) a distributed sensor network that includes over 120 static and mobile nodes for air quality sensing (3) AirQo network manager tool for tracking and management of installation and maintenance of nodes, (4) AirQo platform that provides calibration, data access and analytics tools to support usage among policy makers and citizens. Case studies from African cities that are using the data and insights for education, awareness and policy are presented. The paper provides a template for designing and deploying a technology-driven solution for cities in low resource settings. Full article
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Article
A Low-Cost Calibration Method for Temperature, Relative Humidity, and Carbon Dioxide Sensors Used in Air Quality Monitoring Systems
Atmosphere 2023, 14(2), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14020191 - 17 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1267
Abstract
Low-cost sensors provide an affordable alternative to monitor environmental parameters with acceptable performance. There is a substantial amount of literature where low-cost sensors are compared with high-end reference measurements. However, not all organizations have access to such reference infrastructure. We propose low-cost calibration [...] Read more.
Low-cost sensors provide an affordable alternative to monitor environmental parameters with acceptable performance. There is a substantial amount of literature where low-cost sensors are compared with high-end reference measurements. However, not all organizations have access to such reference infrastructure. We propose low-cost calibration methods for temperature, relative humidity, and CO2 to allow them to collect their own reliable data. These methods are based on simple techniques and procedures that allow temperature calibration to be achieved in the range of 0 to 50 °C, relative humidity from 0 to 90%, and CO2 between 0 and 1100 ppm. The materials used to create the calibration setups can be purchased online, at hardware stores, and in pharmacies. The reliability of the calibration methods was evaluated using several indicators, such as the airtightness of the calibration box, similarity with the factory calibration, similarity with the reference, similarity between different sensors, replicability of the calibration method, and the similarity with a golden standard. In addition, the results of the low-cost calibration methods were compared with the more advanced calibration methods. A short measurement campaign in the city of Santa Clara, Cuba, demonstrated that such calibrations transform in-house developed monitoring systems into valid low-cost scientific instruments for decision-making. This work creates opportunities for institutions and researchers hosted in low- and mid-income countries to build and validate their own equipment to reliably solve local problems. Full article
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