Project | Air-quality Microsensors for Earth Observations

LOCATION: Pretoria, South Africa | PROJECT LAUNCHED: 2015

Project

PROJECT LEADS:

  • Carl & Emily Fuchs Institute for Microelectronics (CEFIM), Dept.: Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, University of Pretoria
  • St Alban’s College

 



PROJECT OVERVIEW

A joint undertaking by the Carl & Emily Fuchs Institute for Microelectronics (CEFIM), Dept.: Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, University of Pretoria and St Alban’s College, Pretoria seeks to design and implement a microsensor-based air-quality monitoring system.

The proposed project utilises wireless sensor network nodes (WSNs) to sense and transmit selected ambient air-quality parameters to a central node, which relays the data to a folder on the Google cloud.

The project team that was involved in the design was a senior undergraduate student at the University of Pretoria and a group of eight (8) grade 11 secondary school learners from St Alban’s College, a boys’ high school situated in Pretoria. While the undergraduate final year student designed an analogous system by first principles, the secondary school learners used educational air-quality microsensors off-the-shelf components. An Android based input/output sensor node is used by the scholars to communicate to a mobile phone, which manages the upload to a Google drive folder. As a secondary outcome, the educational air-quality microsensors systems developed through this undertaking would serve as an educational tool for improving the public understanding of air-quality, including a new national air-quality act in South Africa.

The project was led by an undergraduate project student, Phumudzo Bebwele (IEEE Student Member) supported by Prof. Saurabh Sinha (Director: CEFIM) of the University of Pretoria. The educator counterpart for the project at St Alban’s College was Chris Mouton.


PROJECT PARTNERS


University of Pretoria