For further information, please contact the General chair: Pierre-Emmanuel Gaillardon
University of Utah, USA
AQ&U: Using low-cost IoT solutions to understand and address local air-quality challenges
Air pollution is a significant global health and economic concern. It accounted for 7 million deaths worldwide in 2012 and $21 billion in air-pollution related health care costs in 2015. It will continue to be a concern as the world’s population becomes more urbanized, placing ever-increasing burdens on constrained airsheds, like the Salt Lake Valley - a region that periodically experiences some of the worst short-term PM2.5 (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 microns or smaller) pollution episodes in the country. In parallel with these challenges, advances in sensing, computing, and communication technologies have transformed individuals' lives, and they promise to transform communities by improving efficiency and infrastructure, generating economic opportunities, and improving quality of life. AQ & U is building on these advances to develop a layered framework for integrating sensor data of variable quality using state-of-the-art data modeling and visualization coupled with a citizen-science effort to engage residents to host and maintain sensors across the city. Citizens can view the sensor data, estimates of PM2.5 and uncertainty through engaging visualizations. AQ&U takes a citizen-centric approach both in the way that we deploy and maintain our sensor network, as well as in the way we design tools for public access. We rely on individual and school volunteers to host sensors and help identify poor-quality data. During the winter of 2017 the Salt Lake Valley had over 100 sensing nodes in the AQ&U network, and the network included high-quality data from state monitors and research-grade instrumentation as well as lower quality information from community networks of low-cost, PM2.5 sensors. Dr. Kelly will highlight AQ&U results as well as some of the challenges in deploying, operating and obtaining meaningful data from the network.
Dr. Kelly is a Chemical and Environmental Engineer and Assistant Professor at the University of Utah specializing in the links between energy, air quality and human health. Her research is motivated by local and regional air-quality challenges. Dr. Kelly served 8 years on Utah’s Air Quality Board, and she currently chairs Utah’s Air Quality Policy Board. Her work led to an improved understanding and subsequent policy solutions to address the sources of particulate matter during winter-time inversions along the Wasatch Front. Her research currently includes projects to develop the next-generation of low-cost particulate matter sensors, to develop real-time estimates of particulate matter concentration and uncertainty, and to help engage high-school and middle-school students as citizen scientists. She was recently awarded the UCAIR person of the year by the governor for her work. She is also co-founder of Tetrad: Sensor Network Solutions, LLC, a startup that provides low-cost, high-quality, customizable solutions for environmental monitoring.