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RESPIRA project

posted Nov 10, 2012, 1:31 AM by Daniel Berenguer   [ updated Nov 10, 2012, 1:32 AM ]
RESPIRA is created as a way to provide real-time readings about the air quality in urban spaces. Why do we need to know the quality of the air we breath? Simple, industrial development and vehicle traffic are continuous sources of pollution. Moreover, economic crisis seems to be relegating this problem to a less priority position. Submerged into this pollution, people has to find a way to continue with their lives, take kids to school,  go to work and do some jogging. People suffering from respiratory diseases often avoid to go out for a walk and even have to spend more money in additional medicaments.  What we think is that providing air quality readings and pollution maps could help people better understand their urban environment, take the necessary decisions before taking the car or buying an apartment, make themselves aware of the need to go to greener urban models and even provide them with real arguments when asking local governments to manage cities in a more sustainable way.

The project

RESPIRA is a project started by the Internet Of Things Meetup group in Madrid in 2011, after introducing “The Data Citizen Driven City” by some of their members, and now panStamp joins the initiative in order to provide our special expertise in terms of wireless communications and low-power management. We all are currently working in some new wireless devices based on the initial sensor designs; battery powered sensors capable to transmit data over the air and participate within the panStamp ecosystem, as any other wireless node. Once the air quality readings are sent to the Internet, data is shared across the network, analysed  and published in form of charts and georeferenced diagrams (Google Earth overlays)

The sensor

Wireless sensors mainly rely on the following measurements: temperature, humidity, CO and NO2 levels. CO and NO2 are basic informations when trying to get an idea about the level of pollution coming from combustions of hydrocarbons, the most abundant polluting substances in urban areas. Once these readings are taken, they are wirelessly (SWAP) sent to a local Lagarto-SWAP server connected to the Internet. We are then able to share our local pollution data with the rest of the community, where complete models and reports about air quality in the city can be elaborated.

Some pending tasks

Measuring air quality and sharing it across the Internet is just the beginning. Once accomplished this, we still have some nice challenges in front of us:

  • Display results in form of online map overlays (ex: Google Earth)
  • Share interchangeable formats with other communities working on similar projects
  • Create valid data models which let us foresee quality air in a predictive way
  • Promote the adoption of the solution by citizens and local governments
  • Work on new sensors and gateways