Development and On-Field Testing of Low-Cost Portable System for Monitoring PM2.5 Concentrations

Sensors (Basel). 2018 Apr 1;18(4):1056. doi: 10.3390/s18041056.


Recent developments in the field of low-cost sensors enable the design and implementation of compact, inexpensive and portable sensing units for air pollution monitoring with fine-detailed spatial and temporal resolution, in order to support applications of wider interest in the area of intelligent transportation systems (ITS). In this context, the present work advances the concept of developing a low-cost portable air pollution monitoring system (APMS) for measuring the concentrations of particulate matter (PM), in particular fine particles with a diameter of 2.5 μm or less (PM2.5). Specifically, this paper presents the on-field testing of the proposed low-cost APMS implementation using roadside measurements from a mobile laboratory equipped with a calibrated instrument as the basis of comparison and showcases its accuracy on characterizing the PM2.5 concentrations on 1 min resolution in an on-road trial. Moreover, it demonstrates the intended application of collecting fine-grained spatio-temporal PM2.5 profiles by mounting the developed APMS on an electric bike as a case study in the city of Mons, Belgium.

Keywords: air pollution; calibration; environmental monitoring; mobile applications; particulate matter; sensor systems; system testing.