EANET Training on Air Quality Monitoring Systems Using Low-Cost Sensors
19 October 2023 – Bangkok, Thailand
The EANET Training on Air Quality Monitoring Systems Using Low-Cost Sensors took place on 6 and 7 September 2023, in Hanoi, Viet Nam, and online. The event was jointly organized by the ADB, the Network Center for the EANET, and the Vietnam Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology, and Climate Change (IMHEN) and gathered 100 participants, online and in person, from the EANET Participating Countries and beyond, to learn about LCS equipment operation, quality assurance, data accuracy, early problem detection, and effective use of monitoring data.
Ms. Karma Yangzom, Principal Environment Specialist at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), delivered Opening Remarks expressing gratitude for joining the Vietnam project with IMHEN. She highlighted the significance of the hybrid method in addressing monitoring resource constraints, emphasizing the need for meticulous use of LCS to ensure sensor functionality and data verification, emphasizing the importance of high-quality, verified data, and underlining the workshop’s objective to research proper LCS utilization while expressing appreciation to EANET for hosting the workshop with hopes of providing valuable information to participants.
Dr. Le Ngoc Cau, the Director of the Center of Environmental Research at the Vietnam Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology, and Climate Change (IMHEN), expressed gratitude to the Asia Center for Air Pollution Research, ACAP (the Network Center for the EANET) and ADB for their support in the project to establish an air quality system, highlighting the costliness of such systems in urban areas and the potential of LCS as a more affordable alternative if data accuracy can be ensured. The LCS has been installed in two provinces in Vietnam as part of the project, providing participants with a deeper understanding of its capabilities, and he thanked all the participants and EANET for organizing the workshop.
Introduction to the use of Low-Cost Sensors in Vietnam and in other Asian Countries
Dr. Le Ngoc Cau delivered a presentation on IMHEN’s role, its air quality monitoring system, air quality modeling, and EANET activities in Vietnam. He highlighted the installation of a PM2.5 monitor in Hoa Binh station in 2015 and the collaborative installation of LCS at the same station with the Network Center. Dr. Cau emphasized the importance of verifying LCS data for reliability and the need to figure out how to integrate LCS and conventional monitoring data. They expressed interest in further collaboration with international organizations.
Ms. Karma Yangzom shared experiences from Asian countries regarding the use of Air Quality sensors in ADB projects aimed at enhancing awareness and efforts to improve air quality. She highlighted the stability of AQ Mesh sensors, which only require sensor replacements every two years, and emphasized the use of LCS to present air quality information to the public. She highlighted the importance of ensuring the reliability of the data generated from the LCS.
EANET Projects on LCS Technical studies
Dr. Akie Yuba, a Senior Researcher from ACAP, provided a report on LCS technical studies in Vietnam and Myanmar, which were carried out as part of EANET Project Activities. In Hoa Binh, Vietnam, five LCS units were installed, with a specific focus on PM2.5 and other parameters. In Yangon, Myanmar, LCS units, specifically GBiot and Haz Scanner, were utilized for monitoring PM2.5, O3, NO2, and meteorological data during both monsoon and non-monsoon seasons. A good correlation was observed in the data, though different values were displayed in the slopes, emphasizing the need for blackout preparedness to prevent electricity voltage fluctuations.
Dr. Hiroaki Minoura, a Guest Researcher at ACAP demonstrated, along with Dr. Yuba, how to install an LCS, how to initiate it, to connect it to a data server, and how to retrieve LCS data when there are data communication issues.
Dr. Kazuhiro Misaka, Director of Green Blue Corporation, a private company specializing in the inspection, and maintenance of environmental monitoring and measurement equipment, delivered a presentation on data screening and analysis obtained with LCS and the Hybrid Air Quality Monitoring Network (HAQMN), accompanied by Dr. Akie Yuba and Dr. Hiroaki Minoura. Dr. Misaka explained the process of screening raw LCS data and removing noise signals. Dr. Yuba discussed the screening and validation of hourly LCS data, while Dr. Minoura covered topics related to data interpretation, visualization, and trend analysis.
Challenges and Ways Forward
In the last session, Dr. Alison Simcox from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA) was invited to share insights on LCS experiences. She clarified that LCS data was not deemed an official guideline, and further studies on its functionality were being considered. Two key questions were introduced: the challenges encountered by LCS and Hybrid Air Quality Monitoring Networks (HAQMN) in Asian countries and potential collaborations for promoting LCS in these regions. Commenting on the wrap-up for the way forward, challenges related to technology and policy in utilizing LCS were emphasized, with a focus on the need for capacity building to address issues such as calibration and data interpretation. Dr. Alison stressed the importance of understanding the purpose of LCS usage, whether it was identifying wildfires, creating smoke maps, or monitoring global changes in PM2.5.
Mr. Kenichiro Fukunaga, Deputy Director General of ACAP, delivered the Closing Remarks and conveyed his gratitude to various organizations and participants for their contributions to the workshop and to the EANET Low-cost sensor project. He expressed expectations for the expansion and enhancement of LCS activities in monitoring, research, and capacity building.
- Read the Panelists’ Presentations:
- View the workshop’s photos on Flickr.
Find out more about EANET’s Project Fund and Project Activities.
Photo credits: cover photo of Vietnam (2021) by Hoach Le Dinh; all other photos: all rights reserved to EANET.