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AirKit: A Citizen-Sensing Toolkit for Monitoring Air Quality.

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Mahajan, Sachit 
Armitage, Joanne 


Increasing urbanisation and a better understanding of the negative health effects of air pollution have accelerated the use of Internet of Things (IoT)-based air quality sensors. Low-cost and low-power sensors are now readily available and commonly deployed by individuals and community groups. However, there are a wide range of such IoT devices in circulation that differently focus on problems of sensor validation, data reliability, or accessibility. In this paper, we present AirKit, which was developed as an integrated and open source "social IoT technology". AirKit enables a comprehensive approach to citizen-sensing air quality through several integrated components: (1) the Dustbox 2.0, a particulate matter sensor; (2) Airsift, a data analysis platform; (3) a reliable and automatic remote firmware update system; (4) a "Data Stories" method and tool for communicating citizen data; and (5) an AirKit logbook that provides a guide for designing and running air quality projects, along with instructions for building and using AirKit components. Developed as a social technology toolkit to foster open processes of research co-creation and environmental action, Airkit has the potential to generate expanded engagements with IoT and air quality by improving the accuracy, legibility and use of sensors, data analysis and data communication.



air pollution, crowd sensing and crowd sourcing, low-cost sensors and devices, sensor design, smart cities, social impacts, social networks, Air Pollutants, Air Pollution, Environmental Monitoring, Humans, Particulate Matter, Reproducibility of Results

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Sensors (Basel)

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European Research Council (779921)
European Research Council (313347)
This research was supported by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007–2013)/ERC Grant Agreement n. 313347, “Citizen Sensing and Environmental Practice: Assessing Participatory Engagements with Environments through Sensor Technologies”, and from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (ERC Grant Agreement n. 779921), “AirKit: Citizen Sense Air Monitoring Kit”. The University of Cambridge provided additional support through the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (2020) for enabling impact.