Air pollution, especially PM2.5 (aerosols < 2.5μm diameter), contributes to 8-10 million early deaths annually. The WHO's 2021 guidelines on PM2.5 exposure show 97.3% of people globally live beyond safe exposure levels, reducing global average life expectancy by 2.2 years. This dissertation investigates the efficacy of IoT-based low-cost sensors in delivering credible, localized pollution data and fostering public environmental advocacy. Three essays structure the exploration:
Essay 1 reviews the evolution and performance of low-cost PM sensors (from 2012-2022) and highlights the efficacy of appropriate calibration models to improve performance.
Essay 2 quantitatively assesses pre- and post-calibration performance of PurpleAir PA-II sensors, using timeseries data from sensors deployed in Santa Monica and Pittsburgh.
Essay 3 delves into the potential role of citizen science in air monitoring, spotlighting challenges and proposing guidelines based on deployment experience and surveying sensor hosts.
Collectively, these essays champion an integrated strategy for air quality monitoring, blending technology, scientific inquiry, and community engagement, with the vision of universally accessible clean air.