High Resolution Air Quality Sensing at Scale Time, seminar by Olga Saukh, ETH
Monitoring airborne pollutants is of utmost importance to reliably assess the impact of air pollution on the human health, enable urban planners to craft and accurately evaluate new policies, and increase public awareness. Nowadays, air pollution is monitored by networks of highly accurate fixed measurement stations. Hence, the gathered data has a low spatial resolution and can not be used to assess the spatial variability of pollutants in detail. As a result, little is known about the spatial distribution of air pollutants in urban environments. In Zurich, we use compact low-cost sensors installed on top of public transport vehicles to obtain a high spatial measurement resolution at urban scale. It is the first mobile air pollution monitoring network operating for over four years by now. This talk covers algorithmic, system and data aspects of our air quality monitoring network, and summarizes the main findings and lessons learned while working on the topic. Our many research questions originate from the fact that low-cost gas sensors available today often measure at their sensitivity boundaries, suffer from poor selectivity, and are prone to sensor failures. To address these problems, we develop automatic in-field sensor testing and calibration algorithms, sensor fault and outlier detection methods, and use the measurements to derive air pollution maps with a high spatial and temporal resolution. These maps open up many new application opportunities. For example, we introduce a novel route planning service, which helps urban dwellers to reduce their exposure to airborne pollutants.
Olga Saukh is a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zurich working in the group headed by Prof. Lothar Thiele in the Computer Engineering and Networks Laboratory. Following her Bachelors in Applied Mathematics from the University of Kiev, Ukraine in 2002 and her Masters in Applied Computer Science from the University of Freiburg, Germany in 2004, she received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Bonn, Germany in 2009 under the guidance of Prof. Pedro José Marrón. Olga Saukh received the 2010 CONET Ph.D. Academic Award for her thesis "Efficient Algorithms for Structuring Wireless Sensor Networks". Her research focuses on developing, optimizing, and analyzing algorithms for wireless sensor networks and their applications to environmental monitoring. Olga Saukh leads a set of projects related to the mobile air quality monitoring network part of the OpenSense framework. She serves on program committee of international conferences. Her publications have been accepted at top conferences and journals such as IEEE/ACM IPSN and ACM ToSN. She received a Best Paper Award at ACM/IEEE IPSN in 2011 and in 2015, and at IEEE PerCom in 2014.