Measuring the air-pollution of entire cities in detail sounds harder than it is. It just requires some sensor tech, a way to retrieve and store data and a good method of deploying sensors. It took us longer than expected to get to this point, but we now measured a large part of Turku for the first time.
When building a startup it always takes longer than expected to reach the intended milestones. In our case, the technology we are using provided a fun amount of challenges. We have now overcome the majority of them, including an accumulated total of 7 months delays just because the hardware was faulty and needed to be sent back for repairs. But such are delights of an entrepreneur trying to make the best out of a limited situation.
Last week, we tried three different rubber mounting options to try and reduce vibrations to the device when mounted on the car. We used the on-board accelerometer of the device to make the assessment, which is the best we had.
As we had decided on the best mounting option, yesterday we finally did a first test driving around Turku, and the results were quite interesting, as you can see below.
The above view shows a colour for each of the districts measured. This is our coarse level view of a city, and is also the cheaper type of report to produce. It is useful not only for governments, but also for companies and citizens to get a better, albeit rough, understanding of the air quality of there city for a specific time period.
Yesterday, we finally felt confident the technology would be stable enough allow us to drive around. Nevertheless, about half way through the device jammed, hence the missing districts. In other words, still a few bugs to squash, so that next time the device can recover by itself and no human intervention will be required. So we are very close, just another month or so, to having properly working tech.