Sci Total Environ 2015 Jan 6;502:537-47. Epub 2014 Oct 6.
The Technion Center of Excellence in Exposure Science and Environmental Health, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel.
Accurate evaluation of air pollution on human-wellbeing requires high-resolution measurements. Standard air quality monitoring stations provide accurate pollution levels but due to their sparse distribution they cannot capture the highly resolved spatial variations within cities. Similarly, dedicated field campaigns can use tens of measurement devices and obtain highly dense spatial coverage but normally deployment has been limited to short periods of no more than few weeks. Nowadays, advances in communication and sensory technologies enable the deployment of dense grids of wireless distributed air monitoring nodes, yet their sensor ability to capture the spatiotemporal pollutant variability at the sub-neighborhood scale has never been thoroughly tested. This study reports ambient measurements of gaseous air pollutants by a network of six wireless multi-sensor miniature nodes that have been deployed in three urban sites, about 150 m apart. We demonstrate the network's capability to capture spatiotemporal concentration variations at an exceptional fine resolution but highlight the need for a frequent in-situ calibration to maintain the consistency of some sensors. Accordingly, a procedure for a field calibration is proposed and shown to improve the system's performance. Overall, our results support the compatibility of wireless distributed sensor networks for measuring urban air pollution at a sub-neighborhood spatial resolution, which suits the requirement for highly spatiotemporal resolved measurements at the breathing-height when assessing exposure to urban air pollution.