Question: What do I do next, after using a low-cost or DIY air sensor?

warren is asking a question about dustduino: Follow this topic

warren asked on June 24, 2019 22:20
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What would be a good next step after using a Simple Air Sensor ( #simple-air-sensor) or another DIY air sensor like the #dustduino? The activities listed on the Simple Air Sensor are interesting, but there are many things it can't do as well. After using one, should people:

  • try a different sensor?
  • try using more sensors? (more expensive, or different types?)
  • try logging or collecting data? ( #data-logging)
  • work to building a team or find collaborators?
  • start designing a study? ( #study-design)

What other ways forward do people recommend?



4 Comments

@crispinpierce @OrionAllgaier I was thinking of how people may bridge from a Simple Air Sensor (or similar) to a Purple Air (#purple-air) or even a more expensive device like a dichotomous sampler or something. Trying to collect some ideas and thoughts here!

Hi Jeff (@Warren), I think these transitions are governed by cost, convenience and accuracy. As you know, we're moving in the opposite direction, having used expensive and time-consuming federal reference method (FRM) instruments and now moving towards inexpensive consumer monitors. Although the Wisconsin DNR is beginning testing with Purple Air monitors, they are wary of such instruments that are not EPA approved, tested and calibrated. As such, I believe every new instrument consideration should be questioned: 1)Are the data produced reasonable? 2)Does the instrument respond to positive (i.e. high particulate) and negative (low particulate) testing? and 3)How close are the data from this new instrument and a known instrument (e.g., FRM) when co-located?

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Re: "As you know, we're moving in the opposite direction"

For sure, and I think we're on the same page on the need for lower cost monitoring. One thing we're asked a lot though is some variation on "once something is well explored with low cost monitors, can we use just a few higher-end ones in concert with them to further shore up the evidence?" so it'll be interesting to see whether this ends up being not a "one or the other" but rather an "all of the above" strategy.

Thanks, these are really good questions to use in planning how to put these to use!

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Hi @Warren, For suggestions on where to go it might be helpful if you were to explain more fully by an example the question: "once something is well explored with low cost monitors, can we use just a few higher-end ones in concert with them to further shore up the evidence?" Can we have an example of something "well explored with low cost sensors" and an example of the evidence that might need "shoring up"? I feel that if what to do next is a practical question I would need context to make suggestions. Thanks

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