Water and Air Quality Sensors via Raspberry Pi

This week, after returning from a week-plus hiatus, I finalized the code for the Air Quality Sensor and got it working as a sensor payload as part of the SenPi water quality monitor program.

The air quality sensor we're using is the Air Quality Egg version 2, which is an air pollutant monitor designed by Wicked Devices, LLC for use by citizen scientists and educators.


The setup for the system is simple: plug a Seneye Reef water quality sensor and an Air Quality Egg into a Raspberry Pi, power up the Pi, record your data, then unplug the Seneye sensor, unplug the Air Quality Egg, and power down the Pi (or plug in a monitor, keyboard, and mouse and collect your data). Data are automatically periodically recorded from both sensors. Water data is recorded at a rate of ~0.5Hz and air quality data at a rate of ~0.2Hz, and all data is timestamped and recorded as part of a pair of larger CSV, or comma-separated volume, files, which can later be imported directly into a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel.

We hope to test the system on our autonomous Garridae-class vessels down at the marina some time this week, after the mountings for the system are ready. We plan to record data while the Garridae uses its GPS-based autopilot system to run transects, and our hope is that analyses of the data provide actionable information about water and air pollution trends, especially toward localizing chemical/sewage spills or leaks in the Chesapeake and its tributaries.

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