Sensing Air Quality with Flying Devices

Sensing Air Quality with Flying Devices

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Workshop sponsors: USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study

Workshop leaders: Biayna Bogosian (USC School of Cinematic Arts), Evangelos Pantazis (USC Viterbi School of Engineering), Narek Gharakhanian (Pomona Mathematics Department)

Date: December 2, 2016

Location: USC campus

This workshop is a citizen engagement initiative to document and monitor air pollution data on the USC campus. Our data acquisition method consists of custom tetrahedral kites with air quality sensing kits. The custom tetrahedral kites are made of silk fabric, aluminum rods and 3D printed hardware. These kites are very stable, easy to fly, and operate well in low to heavy winds. Our custom tetrahedral kite is designed to endure the payload of the air pollution sensing kit which is able to document geotagged temperature, humidity and CO2 data. Our sensing kit will also publish the air quality data to a host computer in real time, where we can utilize 3D visualization techniques to better understand the spatial patterns of the air quality data.

Through lectures and hand-on exercises, the workshop participants will be introduced to the theoretical and historical overview of dynamic sensing, air quality data visualization, as well as modular tetrahedral kite construction. We will then participate in a field monitoring exercise where we will test our air pollution sensing workflow with custom kites. We will conduct our field measurements in various location on campus, to not only compare air pollution results, but also trigger curiosity and provoke thoughts in the campus community. The goal is to amplify the reading of the climatic data and increase sensitivity towards the built environment.

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