Raspberry Pi powers a pollution monitoring system

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Nonprofit org uses Raspberry Pi and additional open-source components to monitor air pollution.

A French nonprofit organization known as Le Labo Citoyen is tapping open-source tech in an effort to benefit both citizens and the environment. The organization's first project? Powering a precision air pollution monitoring system with the Raspberry Pi dev board. 

The system is designed to gather pollution data such as NO2, O3, and SO2 levels in Paris. One of the components is called the Gasser, which is essentially a self-contained mobile sensor powered by the Raspberry Pi. The other open-source component is known as ThingStream and can best be described as an open-source IoT Datastore that allows data to reside on the organization's servers.

The four individual components that make up the gasser include sensors costing approximately €110. The gasser also comprises a Delta-Sigma ADC priced at approximately €30, along with the Raspberry Pi which weighs in at about €30. To communicate, the device uses a Huawei E220 GRPS USB dongle that sells for about €35 - combined with a €30 8 Ah USB battery pack. 

All in all, the open source hardware and software components total roughly €255, which works out to about $330 in US dollars.

Interestingly, the developers also plan to release a Raspbian image that runs scripts, which allows the device to gather and process data. It's also worth noting that for now the ThingStream source code is in early beta and currently unavailable to the public.