Monitoring air quality with CAIREboxes
By monitoring the air quality in many more locations, we will learn much more about the air quality. But rolling out conventional monitoring networks on a large scale is a huge challenge, both financially and in terms of organisation. That is why we developed the CAIREbox sensor platform – a cheaper, robust, and accurate alternative to conventional monitoring systems.
Our experts have set up the CAIREbox in such a way that you can connect it to sensors available on the market. The device optimises the operation of the sensors, so they monitor nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter levels with a high degree of accuracy. The platform is modular and can therefore also be used for other types of sensors. For example, it will soon be possible to also monitor other substances and factors such as noise pollution.
Easy to install
The monitoring systems can easily be deployed at other locations throughout the country. The monitoring boxes contain sensors, a battery, a modem, and GPS. And they can be attached to all kinds of existing infrastructures, such as lampposts. So, cities and regions can set up monitoring networks relatively quickly and inexpensively.
Monitoring more results in knowing more
The CAIREboxes will eventually allow for the creation of another layer of monitoring in addition to the Dutch National Air Quality Monitoring Network operated by RIVM. The more monitoring stations there are, the better the density of the measurements. This is how we improve the quality of existing air quality monitoring. The CAIREbox records the monitoring location, time, and measured concentration, which allows you to deduce the source of air pollution and to combine this with data on wind direction. You can then, for example, intervene at neighbourhood level or around certain roads, if necessary.
Real-time insight in Southeast Brabant
Since 2020, there has been a regional network of CAIREboxes in Southeast Brabant. Dozens of monitoring boxes collect data on air quality 24/7. The data can be viewed online on websites such as the TNO Dust monitoring portal (Dustmonitor) and RIVM’s Measure Together portal (Samenmeten). This gives authorities, companies, and citizens real-time insight into air quality, raising awareness and creating more possibilities for the monitoring of air quality standards. The network is a collaboration between TNO, RIVM, the Municipal Health Service (GGD), Utrecht University, the municipality of Eindhoven, the province of North Brabant, the Southeast Brabant Environment Agency (Omgevingsdienst Zuidoost-Brabant), and AiREAS, an association that works to create a healthy living environment.
Would you like to market this technology in the Netherlands or abroad? Let us know and get in touch with Rolph Segers.
TNO and Imec joined forces, to establish Holst Centre, to apply their expertise to solving global societal challenges.