I suffer from respiratory illness related to air pollution.


The time is 8 AM and the sun has risen. That is the sun, not the moon!

When I was in Bangalore, India for a few years, the pollution made my life miserable. The official pollution monitoring stations were few (4 in Bangalore), and they rarely worked.


One of the non-functioning monitoring stations in Bangalore.


When I was in 5th grade, I created my first (rudimentary) air pollution monitor, for a science fair. My monitor used gas sensors for VOC, CO and Methane. Although the readings were not calibrated and thus unreliable, I learned how to use an Arduino and simple programming to measure voltage and hence the level of these toxic gases in the air.


My first air pollution monitor, at my 5th grade science fair.


In April 2013, I came across the work of Tim Dye at Sonoma Tech. The folks at Sonoma Tech run the technology for all the important air monitoring stations in the US. I got a tour of their offices with all the high-end measurement equipment (like the $15,000 SHARP 5030). Tim showed his work on calibrating low cost sensors, which was what I was also trying to do.

I continued to experiment and in 7th grade I built my first dust particle sensing monitor, which, using a light emitter and detector the sensor, could count the number of dust particles. I exhibited my monitor at the Green Kids Conference in Mountain View, CA in June 2013.


Presenting my monitor at the Green Kids Conference, 2013.

Since then, I have made countless revisions to that model and new models as well; the progress of which can be seen on this blog. Ultimately, my goal is to have a relatively inexpensive, portable air pollution monitor, which would enable the public to make educated decisions based on the air pollution.



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