Aerodyne Research, Inc.

Low-cost Air Quality Measurement System

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Mission Statement

To improve our understanding of the local sources and impacts of air pollution in everyday environments

Low cost air quality (AQ) sensors have the potential to provide unprecedented amounts of data to researchers, city officials, and the general public. Significant advances in environmental public health, atmospheric chemistry, and urban planning could be realized if low-cost AQ sensors were proven robust, accurate, and reliable over time. With ARISense our aim is not to claim that we have a low-cost AQ sensor 'silver bullet' but rather to embrace the seriousness of the AQ sensor quantification challenge and provide the research community with a transparent, honest assessment of sensor-derived AQ data.

Compact | Light-weight | Scaleable

Each ARISense system is housed in a small, easily deployed weatherproof enclosure (8.59” L x 5.11” D x 8.59” H, ~ 6 lbs). Given the small foot-print and low-cost, ARISense nodes can extend the reach of far more expensive, regionally-distributed, research-grade AQ monitoring stations, enabling AQ measurements on the neighborhood and community scale.

A Multi-Pollutant Measurement System

Each ARISense system includes electrolytic sensors that measure gas phase pollutants: nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and total oxidants (O3 + NO2) as well as a Non-Dispersive Infrared (NDIR) sensor to measure carbon dioxide (CO2). All sensor-based measurements are imperfect and the sensitivity, selectivity, and stability of each sensor component dictates the accuracy and quality of the data reported by the system. By providing users with raw data outputs and transparent data handling protocols, ARISense aims to provide a honest, robust, useful tool for researchers in atmospheric chemistry and environmental public health. ARISense technology leverages over 30 years of atmospheric chemistry expertise alongside comprehensive laboratory and field-base calibration infrastructure at Aerodyne Research to continually improve data analysis routines.

Laser Particle Detector

ARISense nodes include an Optical Particle Counter (OPC) for detection of suspended particulate matter (for particles between 0.4 and 17 microns in diameter) - providing data on the number concentration and size distribution of particles in the air. The fundamental limitation of low-cost laser-based particle sensors is their particle size-detection limit. In the ARISense project, rather than mask this limitation, we provide users with explicit size-dependent collection efficiency information to improve the accuracy of reported PM concentrations.

Fast | Realtime | Raw Data

Data recorded by each ARISense node is stored on an internal flash drive at user-defined data acquisition rates (5-60s). While reference air quality monitoring stations report average pollutant concentrations on either an hourly or daily basis, the high time-resolution of ARISense measurements provides a near-instantaneous look at changing pollutant concentrations, leading to a clearer picture of local point source impacts that may disproportionately impact air quality.


ARISense systems are configured to allow users to push real-time data to the cloud where sensor outputs can be visualized by the general public and downloaded by users and researchers. Opening up the ARISense database to the communities in which the systems are deployed allows individuals to connect their personal observations with changes in pollutant concentrations in their immediate vicinity.

Fully-integrated Low-cost AQ Sensor System

Integration of peripheral sensors for measurement of environmental and meteorological parameters (relative humidity, temperature, solar intensity, barometric pressure, ambient noise, wind speed & direction) provides additional context for interpreting/understanding sensor response and improving source attribution.

A project by Aerodyne Research, Inc.