A new low-cost air quality monitoring solution developed by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (OR DEQ) will allow the agency to provide timely air quality information at more locations throughout the state.
OR DEQ received funding from the Oregon Legislature to add 30 particulate matter 2.5 monitoring sites around the state. In order to expand these sites as economically as possible, the agency built and programmed its own solar powered, low-cost modules using off-the-shelf sensors and parts from various manufacturers, as well as code developed in-house based on open source libraries. With a price averaging $2,000 per unit, these modules enable OR DEQ to significantly expand its air quality network.
The agency’s Air Quality Monitoring branch also developed meteorological procedures and quality control checks that have been tested against known standards and equipment. These ensure that the data generated from the sensors can be used for informational purposes.