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Friday, July 30, 2021

Low-cost sensor networks may help monitor air quality in future: MPCB & IIT-Kanpur study

These were among a fleet of 40 low-cost sensors developed by four different start-ups and deployed for the study.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: June 20, 2021 10:08:55 am
While regulatory grade monitors that are currently in use could cost upward of Rs 20 lakh, these small sensors cost around Rs 60,000. (Unsplash/ Representational)

Twenty low-cost sensors developed by indigenous start-ups have shown an accuracy of nearly 85-90 per cent vis-à-vis regulatory grade monitors during a seven-month pilot project conducted by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) in partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K) and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

These were among a fleet of 40 low-cost sensors developed by four different start-ups and deployed for the study. The findings reveal that sensors from three start-ups saw a percentage error — measured with respect to true value measured by Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station — of less than 25 per cent for uncalibrated values. After calibration, the error was reduced to less than 15 per cent for three types of sensors and 20 per cent for the fourth type.

The study was conducted between November 2020 and May 2021 when 40 low-cost monitoring sensors were installed alongside MPCB’s 15 existing real-time ambient air quality monitoring stations or CAAQMS in Mumbai – in Colaba, Worli, Sion, Bandra, Vile Parle, Kurla, international airport, Powai, Kandivali, Mulund, Borivali, Vasai, Mahape, Nerul, Kalyan.

Dr V M Motghare, joint director (air quality), Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, said, “We (Maharashtra) have the highest number of non-attainment cities and macro planning is needed to monitor the implementation of the National Clean Air Programme. So, the data from these low-cost sensors will really help us in identifying the hotspots in the state.”

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