A low-cost outdoor air-pollution monitor

My friend Mohammad Samani and I have been working on a low-cost, open-source, air-pollution monitor. Our goal is to make sensors that can be deployed across communities that would report their data back to a central server so that pollution can be mapped and graphed.

Our goal is to make the device easy to use, capable of producing high-quality data, and cheap—recognizing that these three goals are in often tension.

After considering some possibilities, we based our design around the following equipment:

  • The Raspberry Pi Zero W
  • A cheap sensor, the SDS011
  • And various bits of around-the house hardware like Tupperware, hot glue, and hoses