Insight Sustainability: Sensing Air for citizen science

Submitted on Friday, 21/04/2023

Sensing Air is a Citizen Science project involving scientists from the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics: PhD student Eoin Jordan (pictured), Research Assistant Alex Acquier and EPE Manager Brendan Smith. The aim of the project is to read, store and analyse CO2 emissions data which will form a multisite data network with a city dashboard display. This will be a first step in developing a bundle of sensors to target other gases and pollutants such as nitrous dioxide, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter. It will be complemented by external CO2 and other gas sensors initially in Terryland Forest Park.

The team has been working with Liz Coleman from the Ryan Institute Centre for Climate and Air Pollution studies in the University of Galway, and with one of her students who is working on the calibration of the Low Cost Air Quality sensors they have used in their deployed unit.

They have also recently linked up with the Clean Air Together data project which will hopefully see additional sensor deployments for which the data will be collected in Galway. The team is also hoping to visualise and represent the data in innovative ways, using things like sonification and the visual arts.

A committee of end users and researchers has been set up to meet monthly to review and analyse the data collected to help highlight and improve air quality in Galway city and to look at the possibility of developing a phone-based sensor app to monitor certain airborne gases and particulates.