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College teams up with CABS buses to collect air quality data

Undergraduate student Emma van Dommelen is one of the researchers working on the air quality sensor project.

The Ohio State University College of Engineering has partnered with Transportation and Traffic Management (TTM) on a project that will help researchers obtain a wider range of air quality data across Ohio State’s Columbus campus.

Undergraduate student Emma van Dommelen is one of the researchers working on the air quality sensor project.

In collaboration with TTM, a team from the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering mounted an air quality sensor suite and accompanying hardware on top of a Campus Area Bus Service (CABS) bus, which is now collecting data. Currently, the regulatory monitoring of air quality occurs from a few stationary sites that are spaced far apart, which limits the ability to collect data that account for spatial variations in air quality. Having a sensor suite on a mobile platform will help the stakeholders measure air quality in a manner that covers a broader geographic area.

The College of Engineering research team currently includes Professors Mark McCord, Andy May and Rabi Mishalani, PhD student Yangyang Zhou and undergraduate student Emma van Dommelen. 

Members of CEGE's Transportation Engineering faculty: Professor Mark McCord, Assistant Professor Andrew May and Professor Rabi Mishalani.

The project has the potential of demonstrating a concept that could be used in urban areas across the country and around the world. The equipment used for the project is low cost, which would motivate its widespread use.

An installed air sensor sits atop an Ohio State CABS bus.The effort is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation through the University Transportation Center Program. Ohio State is a major partner in the Region V University Transportation Center, NEXTRANS.