Air Quality Sensing Wherever You Go in Taipei (Taipei)

Air Quality Sensing Wherever You Go in Taipei (Taipei)


The proposed project will develop portable AirBox devices to facilitate mobile air quality monitoring, with a focus on PM2.5 sensing, in Taipei city. The device is small-sized and light-weight, and it uses the LoRa technology for low-power and long-range data communication. The expected results of this project are: 1) it promotes citizen engagement of wearable environmental monitoring ranging from walking, jogging to cycling; 2) it provides a finer spatio-temporal granularity of air quality monitoring results for further data analysis and environment awareness; and 3) it interconnects government, academia, industry, and maker community for social good and real-world impacts.

Challenges and Solutions:

LoRa infrastructure: the project relies on a robust LoRa network infrastructure, which has been deployed in Taipei, but has yet to be stress tested.
- Sensor calibration: the project use COTS tiny PM2.5 sensors for mobile sensing, which is emerging but yet to be thoroughly verified.
- Power management: the project requires GPS for location-based sensing, which is notorious for being a ‘power-hungry’ app, thereby creating a challenge for wearable/portable applications.

Major Requirements:

The proposed project will be carried out in four steps:

Step 1: development of portable AirBox devices (by Sept. 2016)
Step 2: sensor calibration of the developed devices and performance tuning of LoRa network (by Dec. 2016)
Step 3: recruiting citizens to participate the project and act the role of
“mobile sensors” in the city (by Mar. 2017)
Step 4: AirBox-enabled decision making and urban planning for adaptation strategies and innovative applications (by June 2017)

Performance Targets/ Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):

1. improving the spatial coverage of air pollution measurement by 200%
2. reducing the temporal resolution of air pollution measurement by 50%
3. reducing the PM2.5 pollution by 20%
4. improving the citizen engagement of air pollution sensing by 200%

Measurement Methods: Describe the methods to measure the performance/KPI impact to assess the benefits to the residents/citizens.

- KPI 1&2&4 will be measured by the data collected from the deployment.
- KPI 3 will be measured by comparing the EPA data before and after conducting the proposed project.

Replicability, Scalability, and Sustainability:

The project will follow the existing collaboration model of the AirBox project, which 1) uses open hardware and COTS sensors so everyone can duplicate the system, 2) pushes the measurement data to a open data broker so everyone can publish and subscribe the data, and 3) works closely with local community to improve engagement, expanding, and growing of the project.


The project will implement a tight collaboration between government, academia, industry, and citizens; and the experience can be duplicated for other smart city deployment projects in different cities.
- The data collected from the deployment will be used for pollution emission sourcing, adaptation policy making, city management, and urban planning.
- The project will make measurement data and analysis results open to the public, and will promote citizen engagement from personal to community scale on different aspects, such as environment education, science education, and LOHAS living.

Demonstration/Deployment Phases

Phase I Pilot/Demonstration June 2016:
- 100 stationary AirBox sites deployed for PM2.5 sensing in Taipei city
- Full coverage of LoRa network in Taipei city

Phase II Deployment June 2017:
- more than 50 mobile PM2.5 sensing nodes, carried by volunteering citizens, using the developed portable AirBox device and LoRa network in Taipei city
- Integrated data platform for data collection, analysis, and visualization of the PM2.5 monitoring data collected from EPA, the existing stationary AirBox sites, and the proposed portable AirBox devices.

Project milestone

Idea Complete

Idea Complete
Prototype Complete
In Development