MONICA, the Smog Tracker born in ENEA laboratories
The air of our cities, even the smallest, is polluted by car exhaust gas emissions, old central heating systems and factory pollution. It is scientifically proved that air quality is of utmost importance for our health and well-being, as for our kids and elderly people. Moving from one street to the next one, air quality can change dramatically and present stationary monitoring stations do not guarantee full coverage of urban cities or small villages.
As ENEA researchers we have developed a technology that will allow us to measure our exposure to pollutants while bicycling, running, shopping or enjoying the view from our balcony. MONICA “MONItoraggio Cooperativo della qualità dell’Aria”, collaborative air quality monitoring, has been developed at the ENEA Centro di Ricerche di Portici, by a passionate team of researchers of the Advanced Sensors laboratory.
MONICA is a smog-tracker built as a box with sensors inside, capable of measuring the pollutants and paired to a smartphone app. The box is as big as a portable hard-drive and is perfectly suited for bike handlebars, but can also be easily mounted on a stroller or a scooter.
MONICA measures several pollutants (carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone), then processes the total exposure level and shows it on the map along your way. Like an antismog-GPS, MONICA shows you the air pollution while you are moving and therefore you will be able to choose the less polluted path!
Let’s build together the first MONICA fleet
After a precise laboratory calibration, this innovative system is now ready for field-test. To perform that successfully, we need to build at least 10 MONICA sensors and put together the first fleet of experimenters strolling with the sensors in their cities and verifying their correct functioning. That’s why we are asking you to support us through this crowdfunding campaign.
With your contribution you can become part of our project, get into our labs and also be one of the first MONICA users!
Thanks to your support, citizens will soon be able to design a street-by-street pollution map of their cities and share it with all the others, as we all do for collaborative traffic information based on individual GPS data.
Research as a Christmas present!
Contributing to MONICA experimentation is a great occasion to become part of a research project: why don't you give this opportunity as a Christmas present to your family and friends?
If you want to make a present with MONICA rewards follow these easy steps:
- choose your reward here on Eppela and give your contribution
- go to citizenscience.enea.it
- insert your name, email and the name of the person you want to give the reward to
When the crowdfunding will end successfully, we will inform via email your friend of the present you chose and he/she will be the person to receive all the included rewards.
Isn't it easy?
The ENEA Advanced Sensors laboratory
MONICA is a project developed in Portici, Naples, by the Advanced Sensors laboratory of the Energy Technologies Department, exploiting the wide experience in terms of several kind of electronic noses (eNose) operated in different areas. Starting with the first monitoring system of volcanic gases, the researchers have developed the first wireless air quality monitoring station, together with applications to Aeronautics Industries, participating into international collaborations within European Union funded projects.
MONICA research and development team is composed by a group of ENEA researchers, who authored several scientific papers and registered patents, together with young PhD and diploma students of Neapolitan universities.
The MONICA research team
Saverio De Vito: Software Engineer and Electric Engineering and Information Technology PhD, he developed the initial idea of the MONICA system through machine learning techniques with multi-sensor devices to directly connect them to their environment.
Elena Esposito: Mathematics MD and PhD, currently Post-Doc researcher at ENEA Portici laboratories where she develops methods and algorithms for computational intelligence, to interface and calibrate micro-sensing systems for air and water quality monitoring.
Fabrizio Formisano: Electronic Engineer, he took care of the design and realization of MONICA multi-sensor device and ICT platform. He works on smart multi-sensor systems for aeronautical and food industry, environment and medical diagnostic.
Maria Salvato: Mathematics PhD, Post-Doc researcher at ENEA Portici research center. Develops advanced techniques for electronic noses, smart sensors with aerospace applications and environmental monitoring.
Ettore Massera: Graduated in Physics at Università "Federico II" in Naples, he is responsible for MONICA sensor calibration. He studies the characterization in controlled environment of semiconductors, polymers and graphene, for eNose embedded systems for smart air quality monitoring.
Annalisa Agresta: Environmental Engineer, presently PhD student in Civil Engineering at Naples University “Federico II” in collaboration with ENEA. Develops numerical models for sensor networks integrated simulation for environmental monitoring
Girolamo Di Francia: graduated in Physics, has more than 30 years of experience in the field of electronic solar cells and sensors technologies. Published more than 150 papers and has several patents, EU expert and member of the EU Platform for Photovoltaic technologies.
Paola Delli Veneri: Physics MD and Engineering PhD, has 20 years of experience on the growth and characterization of thin-film materials for Photovoltaic applications. Head of the research laboratory for new materials for photovoltaic cells and gas sensors, and multi-sensing systems.
The MONICA system
MONICA is continuously improving, and in its different versions of both sensor and app we have improved its sensibility, accuracy, reliability and ease of use.
The latest version that will be used in field-tests is composed by:
Portable Multisensor: this is the heart of the pollutant detection system and is composed by electrochemical sensors, a control board for data processing and transmission to the smartphone app, a long-lasting rechargeable battery. Present simple shape of the case will be re-designed: if you are tinkering with 3D printing why don’t you come up with a proposal for MONICA’s new dress? Contact us!
Smartphone App: shows the level of pollutant exposure in real-time together with previously recorded measurements; the different levels of exposures will be shown along your path in different colours.
Carbon Monoxide (CO), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Ozone (O3)
Low power consumption electrochemical sensors
Based on maximum allowed levels according to present antismog regulations
bluetooth v2.0/edr between sensor box-smartphone;
30 hours with integrated battery, USB rechargeable
Bicycle handlebar, scooter or similar through bayonet fitting support. Custom installation upon request.
L 120 mm
D 80 mm
H 60 mm
MONICA foreseen Timeline and budget
Collected funding will be used primarily to finance the production of MONICA multi-sensors first fleet. The rest will be used for laboratory calibration and sensors validation expenses, and for prototype delivery and retrieval logistics. MONICA prototypes are foreseen to be ready in laboratory by spring 2017, their calibration performed by July and the delivery of the first sensors by September 2017.
More goals to reach, help us!
Research has no boundaries, and we would not stop at the first 6000 euro goal of this crowdfunding! That’s why we have planned further goals, for which we need additional funding allowing us to reach a much more precise knowledge of urban pollution to reduce its impact on our health:
Second goal: 12000 euro
Helping us reaching this goal, you will allow us to develop a laboratory calibration procedure based on a ternary mixture with environmental parameter (T,RH) variations compatible with outdoor conditions, closer to actual sensors operating conditions. Dedicated laboratory setup will have to be realized together with positioning stations and gas mixing systems for calibration purposes. Alternatively, we could setup a connection system to conventional monitoring stations for in-field calibration, exploiting the high precision measurements of these stationary monitoring systems.
Third goal: 25000 euro
If we will reach this funding, a new data handling system for the multi-sensor will be realized, allowing more information to be extracted from the measurements and with a more efficient data analysis and display. A re-design of the app will add new functionalities as local user networks, integration of stationary monitoring stations data and advanced personal stats. This will be possible by hiring a young and promising computer engineer, using the collected funding, giving him/her the unique opportunity to grow in the inspiring and highly innovative work environment of the MONICA research team.
MONICA in the press
MONICA project is young, but already quite famous! Here are some of the TV, radio and press news about our project:
Project created by
ENEA for Citizen Science
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