PROJECT CANARY, PBC (Denver, CO)

In a illustrative manner, a method for monitoring air quality is presented. This involves introducing analyte gases into a cell and then reflecting light rays from the analyte into the cell repeatedly to at least one sensor. The gaseous analytes are evaluated for the amount of light scattered by particles and the amount of spectra absorption due to the presence of a gaseous compound. The gaseous chemical is then able to be determined based on the measured scattered light as well as the amount of spectrum absorption.

The quality of the air is among the most important factors that affect the health of a population. Air quality monitoring and control are the top priority for many countries all over the world. One of the biggest issues is that the instruments used to assess air quality are costly and generally require expert expertise to function effectively. Currently, air quality monitoring is mainly performed by government agencies and dedicated organizations using specializedinstrumentation. Therefore, the general data on air quality isn’t reliable enough to provide the precision needed to determine the cause of problems on a scale smaller than a regional scale. Air quality monitoring instruments can be expensive so most people do not have the money to acquire the data needed to identify specific air quality issues.

This article describes the air quality monitoring system which allows the installation of many monitors that are reliable enough to provide relevant and useful information. One aspect of the advanced method used to calibrate low precision gaseouschemical sensors in order to obtain precise measurements. Cross-calibrating these sensors is done to correct sensitivities that can cause mistakes in measurements of targeted chemicals. Another issue is air quality measurements. They can be used to determine the source of chemical vapors at a local scale. They are able to account for local conditions by utilizing data, such as ambient information and information from users regarding the surrounding environmental conditions. In another way, a gaseous chemical sensor with a better encasement that has an area for reflecting and lengthening the light path is provided to lessen the limitations and enhance the precision of a traditional gaseous chemical sensor using spectrophotometry.

The components and system described herein reduce the amount of resources (e.g. instruments, setting time, cost, knowledge) required for the deployment of a large-scale air quality monitoring system as well as to increase the accuracy of air quality data. The capability to decrease the amount of resources allows for innovative methods of collecting air quality data. For instance, crowdsourcing data can be obtained from instruments that are used by everyday users. This invention allows for analysis of air quality and the use of instruments to be inexpensive, making it more accessible to air quality monitoring.

Click here to view the patent on USPTO website.

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