small sensorsThe University of Strathclyde Institute for Future Cities and CENSIS (the Innovation Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems) are together rolling out an innovative project entitled ‘Sensing the City’. The project has developed a low cost mobile Air Quality [AQ] sensor system that complements static sensing, with the ability to utilise transport systems as a dynamic sensing network.

Countries throughout the world have a need, and in most cases a legal obligation, to ensure air quality is meeting specific standards. Policies are being developed to reduce exposure to air pollution, by reducing emissions and setting limits and target values for air quality.

This innovative prototype focuses on distributed environmental sensing using vehicles as a mobile platform. The current sensor configuration monitors and records: Carbon Monoxide (CO), Particulate Matter (PM), temperature, humidity, pressure, Nitric Oxide (NO), Nitric Dioxide (NO2), Ozone (O3) and position.


The mobile sensor network uses always connected mobile communications and cloud hosting to ensure flexibility, reliability and near-real-time data delivery. An interactive web-based user dashboard visualises the data, allows interaction with the cloud services and includes the capability to embed data processing and analytics outputs; e.g. by using the data to drive city-specific AQ models and derive predictive and interpolative output. This gives users full control and the ability to make informed, and where necessary, potentially dynamic decisions.

Highlight of current system capabilities:

  • Reliable
  • Low-cost
  • Robust
  • Efficient
  • Temporal and Geo-Spatial
  • Remote