New Device Fills Gap in UK Air Quality Data
Aug 11 2012
A device that plugs a gap in air quality data looks set to revolutionise the UK’s air quality monitoring market.
The CanarIT from AirBase is a multi-sensor air quality monitoring device that has been designed as a low-cost, indicative alternative to traditional AQM stations.
The device, brought to the market by Enviro Technology Services (UK), uses nanotechnology sensors to continuously measures levels of air pollutants, transmitting the data over the internet for cloud-based storage and processing. The sensors can operate as a stand-alone monitoring station or linked to form a network. Either way, the data they transmit is analysed and widely available through a variety of channels including social networking sites and mobile phone alerts.
The first iteration of the device measures Ozone (O3), NO2, total VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) and Particulate Matter (Total Suspended Particles) as well as relative humidity, temperature and noise.
Under the Environment Act 1995 and subsequent regulations, all UK local authorities are required to review and assess the air quality in their area. Enviro Technology has sold hundreds of traditional AQMs to local authorities and via the UK National Monitoring Network, AURN. However, as ET’s Sales and Marketing Director, Duncan Mounsor argues, a standard AQM with its associated size, maintenance costs and reliance on a power supply represents a considerable investment:
“They provide precise air quality data, which is exactly what the public would expect given the impact of air quality on our health. This new product from AirBase however, offers a low-cost, quick assessment of air quality and is a useful tool, an intermediate step, to establish the areas where air quality might be an issue before committing to a permanent AQM,” he said.
“It’s a fraction of the price, but – unlike for example, diffusion tube technology – the CanarIT gives you more than a one-off snap shot of air quality at a particular time. It offers real-time monitoring at diffusion tube prices. We think it fills a monitoring gap,” added Duncan.
Its inventors agree. Israeli-based enviro tech start-up firm, AirBase Systems describe the product as “a revolution in air quality monitoring.”
“The devices are designed for local authorities, community groups, citizen scientists and – given the dramatic reduction in device cost – even by individuals with health problems affected by air pollution,” said Liad Ortar, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at AirBase.
“For the first time, citizens and communities can take control of monitoring their own environment and share the data with the world at large. The availability of aggregated data on the internet has the potential to open everyone’s eyes to the damaging levels of air pollution that affect us all,” Liad concluded.
Features of the CanarIT include: ease of installation (a true plug-and-play web device), low cost – approx £1000 per single module (includes set-up and first year hosting), immediate internet connectivity – GSM or Wi-Fi, in the “cloud” data processing, Social Networks plug-in, nanotech sensors, powered and hooked to LAN plugs in the internet router and sensors transmit information every 20 seconds. Any deviation from the authorised levels of pollution immediately generates an alert
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