Smart citizens measuring effects of fireworks

Gijs Boerwinkel

On the Wednesday before Xmas, an enthusiastic group of people gathered at the Waag to assemble an air quality sensor, together with the national RIVM institute. They will measure particulate matter (PM10) at their homes during the fireworks at New Year's Eve in Amsterdam. In this well-prepared workshop by RIVM, 25 sensor packages were assembled within half an hour, ready to get connected to the Internet and the measuring platform provided by RIVM.

To see whether the sensors were fully operational, we used a number of Bengal lights in front of our building.

Back in the building, the results were shown on a large display, showing that the sensors indeed picked up the increased local levels of PM10 in the air.   

This is not the first time that we use the latest sensor technology to measure the environment. It started with the low-cost Smart Citizen Kit a few years ago and we continued our efforts within the Amsterdam Smart Citizens Lab. These technologies are improving every year. Last year we were measuring the Valkenburgerstaat and Weesperstraat in the neighbourhood, to map NO2 with a sensor array we developed ourselves at the Fablab.

We are also testing this sensor to see whether we can use it in our new project called Mobility Urban Values (MUV). In this project we will move to Buitenveldert to see whether an app can contibrute to healthy and sustainable behaviour. The sensor will be used to measure the air quality in the environment.

If you want to follow the effects of the air monitoring of fireworks, please have a look at the platform of RIVM.

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