UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Evaluation of portable air quality sensors at the Vancouver (Clark Drive) near-road air quality monitoring site Brauer, Michael; Lee, Martha

Abstract

This report describes evaluation of six low-cost, low-power air quality sensors and their comparison with co-located reference monitors at the Vancouver (Clark Drive) near-roadway air quality monitoring site operated by Environment Canada and Metro Vancouver. There has been a recent increase in awareness of public health issues associated with air quality combined with the development and availability of numerous low-cost, low-power air quality sensors. These sensors, and the ability of some models to be networked with data streaming to a central server offer the potential for less expensive air quality monitoring and enhanced spatial coverage. Furthermore, the commercial availability of these sensors offers non-regulatory bodies, researchers, and members of the public the possibility of near real-time access to additional air quality data, beyond that already provided by air quality management agencies. However, many of the companies producing these sensors have not compared their devices with regulatory grade monitors; hence, the accuracy, precision and stability of measurements from these sensors is not well understood. Understanding the performance of these devices is important for their use by non-regulatory bodies, researchers, and the general public, and for expanding their potential use for regulatory purposes.

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