Mitigating Slow Dynamics of Low-Cost Chemical Sensors for Mobile Air Quality Monitoring Sensor Networks
The last decade has seen a growing interest in air quality monitoring using networks of wireless low-cost sensor platforms. One of the unifying characteristics of chemical sensors typically used in real-world deployments is their slow response time. While the impact of sensor dynamics can largely be neglected when considering static scenarios, in mobile applications chemical sensor measurements should not be considered as point measurements (i.e. instantaneous in space and time). In this paper, we study the impact of sensor dynamics on measurement accuracy and locality through systematic experiments in the controlled environment of a wind tunnel. We then propose two methods for dealing with this problem: (i) reducing the effect of the sensor's slow dynamics by using an open active sampler, and (ii) estimating the underlying true signal using a sensor model and a deconvolution technique. We consider two performance metrics for evaluation: localization accuracy of specific field features and root mean squared error in field estimation. Finally, we show that the deconvolution technique results in consistent performance improvement for all the considered scenarios, and for both metrics, while the active sniffer design considered provides an advantage only for feature localization, particularly for the highest sensor movement speed.