AQMesh: a new option for flexible air quality monitoring
AQMesh has an impressive collection of global users and performance results measuring ambient air quality in applications ranging from traffic planning and urban hotspots to industrial fence line monitoring, building ventilation management, or environmental lobbying. This pole-mounted unit comes with an independent power supply and communications, so offering the possibility of measuring air quality exactly where it is required. Readings are accessed securely online at intervals as short as 5 minutes and can either be downloaded manually or linked to another application.
Each small (2.5kg) pod can measure up to six gases, including NO2 and now CO2, as well as PM2.5, PM10, and environmental conditions. As the units use standard fittings, installation is speedy and a city can be fitted with 20 units in one morning. Accuracy is optimised by using the best available sensors for detecting low levels of ambient pollutants and applying processing which gets the best possible performance from them.
During the five years of the product’s development, the AQMesh team has built on the founding partnership with the University of Cambridge and collaborated with air quality teams worldwide to constantly compare performance against reference stations. These co-location comparison trials have shown how closely AQMesh can track reference readings and also provided continuous insights into how performance can be improved. These impressive comparison trial results are shown in the performance section on the AQMesh website.
AQMesh does not offer an alternative to a full reference station but can help to fill the data gap between sparse reference method monitoring points and diffusion tubes which lack time resolution. In fact, the combination of AQMesh and reference method monitoring stations is particularly powerful, as co-location against the reference station and scaling applied to the AQMesh server provides a reliable calibration method.
Each individual AQMesh pod measures only 20cm and can monitor NO, NO2, O3, CO, SO2, CO2, PM1, PM2.5, PM10, noise, pod temperature, relative humidity and atmospheric pressure, available as a range of options. The power source can also be chosen to suit the application, with independent supply being key. In addition to its range of battery options, AQMesh can now be powered by a small, neat and self-contained solar power unit. This low power platform is key to the versatility of the equipment, meaning that it can be located literally anywhere and operated for years with minimal or even no maintenance.
AQMesh is designed and manufactured in the UK and supported globally, and as worldwide concern for air quality continues to grow, AQMesh is rapidly being proven to be the only reliable solution with the accuracy and precision for local ambient air pollution monitoring. Hundreds of units are in use worldwide by leading academic institutions, environmental monitoring authorities and private companies in a range of pollution monitoring projects, including real-time NO2 monitoring and NOx measurement for traffic pollution analysis. AQMesh is also currently in use across a number of cities as part of the EU-funded Citi-Sense project.