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The IEEE Philadelphia Section piloted an Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) project in 2009.


About the Drexel Clean Air Council Project

Drexel Clean Air Council

In 2009, the Philadelphia Section piloted an EPICS Project in partnership with the Philadelphia Clean Air Council and Science Leadership Academy, a local high-school to develop an air quality sensor network for monitoring residential areas in South Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Clean Air Council is a member-supported, non-profit environmental organization dedicated to ensuring enforcement of environmental laws. The organization develops and disseminates policies for improving air and water quality. The objectives of the project were to create a residential air quality sensor network to determine air quality in various Philadelphia neighborhoods to provide a “first screening” for EPA standards.

The project results included the: 

  • design and manufacture of a wireless interface;

  • design and manufacture of a sensor;

  • deployment of the sensor network in the city;

  • development of an algorithm to map sensor network results to EPA standards.

The high-school students:

  • determined the height of sensor did not affect particle count;

  • evaluated effects of weather conditions on particle count;

  • determined sensitivity of the sensor in various environments;

  • deployed the air quality network in their high-school.

Future work includes the recruitment of a new undergraduate team and involvement of North Penn High School. The plan is to involve more students in the “EPICS club” to deploy a larger sensor network and develop a Google Earth interface; to disseminate sensor network technology to Clean Air Councils in other cities; and to adapt the sensor network for indoor use.


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Contact information

Contact: Dr Kapil R. Dandekar, Principal Investigator, IEEE EPICS-High, IEEE Philadelphia Section

Contact: Dr Saurabh Sinha, Co-Principal Investigator, IEEE EPICS-High, IEEE South Africa Section

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