Taking Space

The HabitatMap & AirCasting Blog

Category: Uncategorized

AirBeam Technical Specifications, Operation & Performance

Hardware Specifications Weight: 7 ounces Particle Sensor: Shinyei PPD60PV Temperature & Relative Humidity Sensor: MaxDetect RH03 Bluetooth: Nova MDCS42, Version 2.1+EDR Microcontroller: Atmel ATmega32U4 Bootloader: Arduino Leonardo About the AirBeam HabitatMap worked with a community of scientists, educators, engineers, and other non-profits to create the AirBeam. The AirBeam measures fine particulate matter (PM2.5), temperature, and [...]

AirCasting Youth

AirCasting Youth is an educational program for high school students that teaches how to build AirCasting air quality instruments, develop air quality monitoring plans, utilize the AirCasting platform to record, map, interpret, and share air quality data, and lead change through civic action. Thanks to support from the Knight Prototype Fund, we’ve been working with [...]

The AirCasting App Gets a Makeover

We launched the AirCasting app in December 2011. Over the past two years we’ve rolled out a slew of new features but never had a chance to rethink the user interface.  That is until about three months ago when we found the time, and most importantly, the funding.* Since then we’ve been busy translating the [...]

Air Quality Scientist Goes AirCasting (Part 2): Smokers Beware!

Last week, I wrote about Aircasting with my Car-Neph. This week, I want to tell you about my Backpack-Neph. The below image provides an overhead view of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency’s office building in downtown Seattle with my AirCasting tracks and graph overlaid. The day was blustery and cool, so there was little [...]

Air Quality Scientist Goes AirCasting (Part 1)

I’ve worked at the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) in Seattle for a little over ten years with a team that has monitored air quality here since 1967. We focus on measuring and reporting fine particle pollution (PM 2.5) because of its health risks. Our agency is passionate about communicating air quality information to [...]

Evaluating Low-Cost Gas Sensors

One of the major challenges facing air quality scientists and citizen scientists is the dearth of information available regarding the performance of low-cost gas sensors. Though manufacturers provide data sheets that describe the performance of their wares, these data sheets are usually incomplete – lacking the information required to evaluate whether the gas sensor is [...]

Make Your Own AirCasting Particle Monitor

Join us Tuesday, October 8th for the third installment of Make Magazine’s Urban Sensor Hack. The event takes place on Google Hangout and is free and open to the public. During our hack Michael Heimbinder, Tim Dye, Iem Heng, and Raymond Yap will guide you through a step by step process for making your own [...]

AirCasting: Education Edition

In the spring we had lots of fun teaching students how to make AirCasting compatible air monitors and luminescent accessories.  For details on these educational programs, along with some really great videos, read on. Making Air Monitors with High School Seniors In 2012, the Newtown Creek Alliance, in partnership with HabitatMap, received an Environmental Justice [...]

More AirCasting Air Quality Monitors

It’s been eight months since we released the DIY guide for the first AirCasting compatible air monitor. Since then we’ve been busy evaluating the performance of a variety of different gas sensors and optical particle counters (more on this in later posts) to figure out just how well they work for our particular application: mobile ambient [...]

AirCasting & HabitatMap in the News!

The New York Times followed us around while we went AirCasting, then wrote a story and made a video about it. The story is excellent in that it covers not only AirCasting but a range of different citizen science air quality monitoring efforts. We also landed an article in Take Part that provides a nice [...]