U.S EPA and Aeroqual sign 5 year CRADA to advance low cost sensor technology

Five-year agreement will combine the U.S. EPA’s air monitoring infrastructure and measurement expertise with Aeroqual’s technology and field deployment experience.

Auckland, New Zealand – Aeroqual, a leader in air monitoring innovation, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), have signed a five-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to advance low-cost air sensor technology.

In recent years a massive increase in public awareness coupled with rapid technology improvements has led to demand for more air quality information – localised, real-time information that is more relevant to where people live, work and play. Manufacturers have responded to the demand by producing lower cost sensor devices that can be deployed in greater numbers by people without previous air monitoring experience. However the performance of these devices is variable and standards do not yet exist for their use.

AQYThe U.S. EPA sees an opportunity to better understand these devices and explore their applications in ways that can complement the existing air monitoring network and meet the demands of many stakeholders. This CRADA with Aeroqual is one way in which the U.S. EPA hopes to achieve that goal. The U.S. EPA will contribute its extensive air monitoring infrastructure and air pollution measurement capabilities to the project.

Dr. Rachelle Duvall of U.S. EPA’s Office of Research and Development says, “EPA is looking forward to collaborating with Aeroqual to improve knowledge of air sensor technologies, explore applications, and better understand the challenges of these devices such as calibration and performance over long time periods.”

Aeroqual has for almost two decades pioneered the use of lower cost air monitoring technology, for the benefit of people and society, in a manner that is technically robust. With more than 10,000 instruments in the field – from the Amazon rainforest to the streets of New York to the Arabian Desert – they have built significant expertise in how to take quality measurements using sensors in a wide range of environmental conditions.

Aeroqual’s CTO Dr. Geoff Henshaw says, “This agreement is acknowledgement of the great opportunities and the great challenges that lie ahead of us as we work to increase the relevance of air quality information to individuals and their communities.”

Photo credit (from top left): Downwinders at Risk, KETV NewsWatch 7 (St Gerald’s School), Prime Mover Consult Limited, University of Birmingham, Philippe Apparicio (Canada Research Chair in Environmental Equity & the City) and Jérémy Gelb (PhD Program in Urban Studies at INRS)

Having long championed a ‘measurement first’ approach to lower cost air quality monitoring, Henshaw believes the CRADA will advance this approach. “The U.S. EPA collaboration will allow us to go deeper, faster, and do things at a much bigger scale.”

The CRADA project will allow Aeroqual and the U.S. EPA to collaborate  in the following areas:

  • Improving long term sensor performance.
  • Optimising factory and field calibration techniques.
  • Developing new measurement capabilities e.g. for volatile organic compounds.
  • Exploring new applications.

The first of many projects kick off early 2018. The U.S. EPA and Aeroqual expect to produce scientific papers and presentations that summarise their findings. This collaboration should advance sensor technology, benefiting sensor makers like Aeroqual and others in the industry.

If you’d like to know what this means for you, the industry, or society as a whole, please get in touch with us. We’re always happy to hear from you.

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