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ESP32-based Measurement of Particulate Pollution

Reporting from Shanghai, China
Sep 27, 2019

Nir Huri, an Israeli network engineer, has created an ESP32-based air pollution monitoring device.

“Air pollution isn’t just about the unsightly haze in major cities. It can also pose a major health risk, particularly to those with vulnerable respiratory systems”, as the Hackaday writer Lewin Day put it. Indeed, a major part of hazardous pollution is particulate matter, which is made of tiny solid particles suspended in the air. Particulate pollution levels are of great interest to health authorities worldwide. No wonder why then, inquisitive minds within the maker community have responded to this situation by creating their own environmental solutions. This article, in particular, presents a monitoring rig that network engineer Nir Huri has built.

Nir Huri’s gadget measures particulate matter with an SDS011 sensor. This device contains a laser and detects light scattered by airborne particles in order to determine the level of particulate pollution in PM2.5 and PM10 ranges. Nir Huri’s device uses an ESP32 as the brain of the entire operation, due to ESP32’s onboard networking hardware. This makes the remote monitoring of the system easy. Data are then uploaded to a Cacti instance, which handles the logging and graphing of data.

The full description of this project, along with the relevant workflow, files, components, building instructions and the ESP32 code can be found on Nir Huri’s profile on hackaday.io. There is also a GitHub link to the ESP32 code.

For those concerned about the air quality of their place of residence, or those who are distrustful of official pollution measurements, this build is a great way to get a clear read on pollution in their local area. Such users might even consider becoming part of a wider monitoring network, initiated by the 2017 Hackaday Prize to a series of IoT Air Quality monitors that were created by Radu Motisan!

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