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What is AirNode?
What is AirNode?
Siarhei Tamasheuski avatar
Written by Siarhei Tamasheuski
Updated over a week ago


The AirNode is AirLabs’ compact, self-contained air pollution monitoring system that provides high-quality measurements of gas and particles and is designed for dense deployment in urban and rural environments.

AirNode provides local authorities, businesses, and communities with detailed, localized, at-a-glance air quality insight at street level. This air-quality monitoring system complements existing reference sites and delivers actionable data to support clean air zone policies and enforcement.

The low cost of the AirNodes in comparison to competitors allows for the deployment of a greater number of sensors in a densely spaced network. Such dense sensor networks provide exceptional coverage in both space and time. Air quality data from the AirNodes is enhanced by AirScape platform. This integrated hardware and software system provides unprecedented visibility of, and insight into, the pollution distribution over the monitored area.

The key features of the AirNode

  • Compact and light. As small as 150 (L) ˣ 55 (W) ˣ 195 (H) mm3, and weights < 1 kg;

  • Tracks multiple air pollutants, including PM2.5, PM10, Ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and carbon dioxide (CO2) thus providing a highly accurate measurement of urban pollution;

  • Also, trace environmental conditions such as temperature and relative humidity;

  • Sensors connect and transmit data wirelessly from the urban environment to the screen;

  • Real-time air quality intelligence. Visualizes minute by minute, street-level data to engage stakeholders and promote collective action to improve air quality.

  • Easy to install with flexible mounting options. Designed to be conveniently mounted to street lighting columns, building facades, and other street furniture at the optimal position of 2.5 - 3 m above street level;

  • Easy to configure.

  • Long-life, high-performance. Combines best-in-class components and self-adjustment mechanisms.

  • Low-cost, low-maintenance. Automatically updates firmware Over-The-Air.

How does the AirNode work?

The AirNode employs best-in-class electrochemical (EC) sensors developed, manufactured, and calibrated in the UK to measure O3 and NO2. The EC cell is integrated with the AirLabs digital sensor electronics board (ALEC) that delivers improved signal-to-noise and stability compared to off-the-shelf digital individual sensor boards (dISBs). The detection limit for the EC + ALEC system at 1 min sampling frequency is 1 ppb for both O3 and NO2.

The AirNode measures total particulate mass in a specified size range (PM2.5, PM4, and/or PM10) using an actively-sampled best-in-class optical sensor. The AirNode has been awarded the Best Accuracy Award for outdoor PM2.5 monitoring in Air Parif’s The Microsensors Challenge competition 2021.

The AirNode measures CO2 by the most reliable method for detecting carbon dioxide gas, namely the Non-Dispersive Infrared (NDIR) sensor.

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Why it is important

Urban air pollution is one of the greatest risks to health worldwide, causing millions of premature deaths every year. To tackle this threat, many cities are pioneering the use of air quality monitoring stations to address the harmful impact of pollution. But these large and expensive devices often lack the granular detail to make decisions at the neighborhood level where people are most affected.

AirNode is designed to take these initiatives to the next stage, adding a layer of ‘street-level’ detail to the data gathered by existing reference stations. Typically deployed in dense networks, these highly accurate, low-cost sensors gather real-time data.

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