We are Aeroqual
Every day, environmental professionals around the world are working hard to protect people and the planet from the impact of air pollution. Since 2001, Aeroqual has equipped them with industry-leading sensor technology, working towards our mission to make it easy to measure the air.
This is our story.
Early believers, the Williams family, joined us as cornerstone investors and provided funding for further product development.
2005 - Cool Stuff
Doing cool stuff with sensors has always been part of who we are. In the early days we said yes to everything – no measurement challenge was too whacky. Antarctica, the Amazon, the troposphere. You name it, we did it.
Some kind folks from the government gave us a research grant and we used it to bring sensor design and fabrication in-house, making GSS technology a core competitive advantage.
We kept saying yes and growing and therefore had to move into larger facilities. Our new home was down an unassuming driveway in the leafy suburb of Mt Eden, in central Auckland – also home of Eden Park, for rugby fans – go All Blacks!
2007 - AQM compact air monitoring station
A customer asked us if we could make a complete air monitoring station, using sensors. ‘Easy!’, we said. Six months later the AQM prototype emerged.
We released the AQM 60 which quickly became our flagship product. It rapidly gained popularity around the world, as it provided a cost-effective yet accurate solution to measure outdoor air pollution. At last, a real alternative to expensive analyser technology.
On the back of the AQM station, we released our first particulate matter (PM) monitor: the AQM 10 (later to be called the Dust Sentry).
Quixote Transportation Technologies (QTT) in the U.S. introduced our AQM 60 for Road and Weather Information System (RWIS) monitoring. QTT was later acquired by Vaisala, who make awesome weather stations (but are still learning about air quality stations).
2010 - Dubai Municipality chooses Aeroqual
Dubai needed to upgrade their air quality network and chose to use fourteen AQM 60 stations to provide real-time continuous measurement of common urban air pollutants. Up till now no major city had ever considered using anything other than analyser technology for their long-term compliance network. We were chuffed to bits.
Our first major industrial network was secured with Vale the Brazilian copper giant. Several AQM 60 monitors were installed at Vale sites in Brazil.
2013 - Rise of low-cost sensor networks
As the research community built trust in using air quality sensors to take outdoor air pollution measurements, interest grew in using a network of sensors for wide-area studies of pollutants over space and time. In one project we deployed 60 ozone sensors near Vancouver to study ozone formation and distribution in the Fraser Valley.
In another study funded by the U.S. EPA and in partnership with consultants, Sonoma Technology, we deployed 23 sensors in San Joaquin Valley, California. The study helped regulators to decide whether or not a newly located government monitoring station was representative of the airshed as a whole.
These ground-breaking studies helped us to demonstrate the performance of our sensors to researchers and the government agencies alike.
With MCERTS under our belt we went certificate-crazy and got ISO-9001-2008 as well. Like most things we picked it up quickly and quality management is now a major part of our culture – CARs, SCARs, OFIs, ECOs, we love that stuff!
2013 - A paradigm shift for air pollution monitoring
In 2013 the U.S. EPA release a draft Next Generation Air Monitoring Roadmap, acknowledging the limitations of traditional air monitoring methods and the promise of sensor-based techniques. Two other prominent articles of the time: The Changing Paradigm of Air Pollution Monitoring (Environmental Science & Technology) and Improving Air Quality Monitoring in Asia: A Good Practice Guidance (Asian Development Bank). Having battled industry orthodoxy for over a decade, we breathed a major sigh of relief. It sounds great being a pioneer, but actually it’s really lonely.
The U.S. EPA featured us in their 2014 Air Sensor Guidebook, where our Series 500 portable monitor was highlighted among a handful of manufacturers. We got a mention for our ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide sensors.
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) selected us for Focus700, a group of 700 high-growth potential New Zealand companies that receive a higher level of support from the government in their export markets. This began a close working relationship with NZTE that continues to this day.
What do you call an air monitoring station that’s way better than the AQM 60? The AQM 65 of course! Our taste for obscure naming conventions continues. We made significant improvements to sensor performance, extended the operating temperature and lowered the detection limit for SO2 and H2S.
2016 - Winner: Most innovative hardware solution
We won the Most Innovative Hardware Solution category at the 2016 NZ Hi Tech Awards. It was a great night out…took a week to get over that one.
When there’s some strange air pollution in your neighbourhood… Who you gonna call? NYC Department of Environmental Protection kit out a van with an AQM 65 and drive it round town to put polluters in their place.
Breaking into the China market was hard work. We finally know we’ve cracked it when the Beijing EPA purchase three AQM 65 air monitoring stations for a research project.
Further success in China with a 90-unit PM2.5 monitoring network for Shaoxing Prefecture in Zhejiang Province.
We added the particulate matter sensor to the portable line-up. It measures both PM2.5 and PM10, is lightweight and affordable = happy customers.
2018 - Big news people
In March the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) announced a 5-year Co-operative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with us. This agreement will combine the U.S. EPA’s air monitoring infrastructure and measurement expertise with our technology and field deployment experience. Over the next five years together we’ll be accelerating the shift towards a low-cost air sensor future.
Aeroqual was gaining momentum across the U.S. construction and remediation markets, winning several major projects across both the east and west coast.
We won the CASANZ Innovation Award at the International Clean Air and Environmental Conference down in Queenstown, New Zealand. The team were super stoked on winning the award!