The air quality monitor, is one of the first environmental monitoring projects we started the project with, measuring particulate matter (PM 10, PM 2.5, PM 1), humidity and temperature.
To build it we approached Sean Brokke who is currently studying at Fontys in ICT technology, to come back for the summer of 2022 to work intensively on the air quality monitor to build a prototype. He has also been working in this area at his university, and succeeded in making our first air quality sensor named, the First Airbender (FAB).
One of the main goals is for other islands to have access to the instructions so they can replicate our air quality sensor to be able to collect air quality data. All details of the systems are accessible on Github, this includes the code, schematics, and CNC models to make the circuit boards.
In August 2022 on time before returning to his studies in The Netherlands, Sean and his intern Ian were ready to install the First Airbender. This was installed in Neptali Park which is situated next to the Surfside coast on a palmita (small palm tree) who we called Dimitree. From that day on, FAB has been running with little disturbance and collecting data which can be found on our data portal (https://surfside-db.brenchies.com) which is still in its functional prototype form, developed by Jeremy Granadillo
In November Stephen Richards, a Academic Foundation Year student at the University of Aruba, interned with us, testing the replicability of the First Airbender. He worked together with one of our biggest fans, Jeff Romero, to build the Second Airbender (SAB). This was Stephen’s first time working with the elements needed to make the monitor: he had to design, 3D print, wire a breadboard, solder, draw schematics, code in Arduino, and troubleshoot along the way. With the limited experience he had coming in, Stephen was able to make the Second and Third Airbenders (SAB & TAB), and gave us confidence in the replicability of our air quality monitor.
SAB, our second airbender, was initially installed on a sailboat mast at Surfside, not too far from FAB, but recently some issues came up requiring us to bring it back to the shop for repairs. TAB was installed in our backyard for testing, and is looking forward to being installed at Surfside soon.
For validation, Tatiana tested FAB, SAB, and MAB (Mobile Airbender) against a reference meter we borrowed from ACE Engineering Firm, but unfortunately technical difficulties prevented a clear result. We are now pending another validation attempt of our Airbenders, waiting on a bit of paperwork and soon a new reference meter. In total we will place five Airbenders around Surfside beach, and perform validation tests with each of them. Once we have this, we will work a bit on improving our instructions and code repositories to make the monitors replicable, and share the data being collected for use by anyone interested.