Auckland Uni air sensor tech signs deal with EPA

Published on the 08/05/2018 | Written by Newsdesk

Aeroqual and EPA air sensor research deal

Project will investigate new ways of providing low-cost measurement of outside air pollutants...

University offshoot Aeroqual provides cost effective, high quality air monitors and has announced a deal with the US EPA that will accelerate their research into air quality characterisation.

While the size of the deal hasn’t been announced, according to the statement, Aeroqual researchers will focus on four areas to support the advancement of air sensor technologies: sensor performance, sensor calibration, and expanding and enhancing measurement capabilities and sensor applications.

The company , founded in 2001 by Auckland University Professor David Williams and Dr Geoff Henshaw, went to market in 2003 and by 2006 was cash positive. Aeroqual now exports zone sensors, air quality monitors and dust and particulate monitors and software to more than 50 countries, with the aim of having an accurate air quality sensor installed on every city street in the world.

EPA investigator, Rachelle Duvall, says she hopes the two organisations will improve some of the many challenges that low-cost, portable air sensors bring. For one, ensuring accurate and reliable performance over time.

“This work is important because we are looking for lower cost options to accurately monitor air quality in the future and this CRADA [Cooperative Research and Development Agreement] can help achieve our goals.”

Duvall – who will work alongside Aeroqual on the project – says that the next generation tools are so much more accessible compared to the large, stationary monitors.

“The EPA will benefit from this collaboration as we will combine our expertise in air measurements with Aeroqual’s expertise in sensor development to advance air quality characterisation using Next Generation Air Monitoring tools,” says Duvall.

EPA scientists will evaluate data collected from the low-cost sensors placed at EPA’s Ambient Monitoring Innovative Research Station (AIRS) in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina and as part of a number of EPA field studies.

“Because these tools are so much more accessible compared to traditional air monitoring equipment, and are being used by not only the scientific community but also the general public, it is important for all users to have confidence in the data they are collecting.”

Aeroqual’s CTO Geoff Henshaw says that having long championed a ‘measurement first’ approach to lower cost air quality monitoring, “the U.S. EPA collaboration will allow us to go deeper, faster, and do things at a much bigger scale”.

“Rising public awareness together with rapid technology improvements has increased demand for more air quality information – localised, real-time information that is more relevant to where people live, work and play.”

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