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Smart Sense d.o.o Case Studies Monitoring Air Polluants with AirQ
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Monitoring Air Polluants with AirQ

Smart Sense d.o.o
Monitoring Air Polluants with AirQ

Air Quality and the monitoring of pollutants that can cause health issues is becoming more important to our daily lives with governments and regulators keen to both monitor and manage the impacts of poor air quality caused by a range of pollutants.

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To date, the AirQ sensor used 3G or WiFi connectivity to upload data from the deployed sensors. However, SmartSense has now developed an NB-IoT energy-efficient alternative and aim to evolve further with a version that can be fully off-grid to allow installation in any location.

The aim of this new initiative was to develop a new NB-IoT powered air quality sensor, that performs as well as the existing sensors and optimized for NB-IoT, meaning that it can be battery or solar powered in future. This will allow the sensor to be installed in many more locations, whilst keeping installation and operating costs low.

The first step that was taken with the AirQ sensor was to optimize the solution to meet NB-IoT bandwidth requirements and to re-design the device's firmware and hardware to support NB-IoT. The aim of the deployment is to test the performance of NB-IoT for a collection of all the data currently collected by the AirQ sensor and to measure the power requirements for developing a battery powered sensor in the future.

The first NB-IoT pilot is now up and running in Xanthi, Greece with real data being collected as shown in the screenshots below.

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Battery Life – NB-IoT is designed for power optimization, meaning that it can operate from battery power and maximize battery lifespan for up to 10 years, depending on the usage profile. Currently, the AirQ sensor must be connected to a mains power supply, which restricts the locations that a sensor can be installed. A battery powered sensor doesn’t need to have its location compromised in order to connect to a suitable power supply.

Coverage – NB-IoT is based on LTE, but is designed to offer improved coverage of up to -20dB over existing LTE networks. This means that an AirQ sensor designed for indoor spaces is being developed, with the extended coverage opening up new locations that can now be reached for air quality monitoring.

Real-time data – The SmartSense dashboard displays real-time information from the installed fleet of AirQ sensors. Therefore it is important that measurements from the sensors are relayed quickly. The new NB-IoT AirQ sensors have been optimized for NB-IoT so that the sensor readings can be delivered in real-time, and the user experience is no different to the existing connected sensors.

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