About the Project

What Air Watch Does

Measuring the quality of the air we breathe typically requires expensive equipment and specialists to make sense of the data. This is what we want to change:

As a first step, we are engineering an affordable air pollution sensor for the community. We’ll measure Particulate Matter and Nitrogen Dioxide – key indicators of air quality. In a second step, we’ll embrace the methods of Citizen Science to equip the community to measure air quality data with a view to influencing government policy. This means that we will provide affordable sensors, which can be simply set up at home, in a garden, at a local facility or in schools. Everyone who has an air monitoring sensor (Sniffy) will be able to view the air quality data to get an understanding of the relative air quality people are exposed to. All air quality information, from all sensors across Southampton will feed into a Big Data pool, where we will analyse wider implications for the city.

Meet Sniffy – the Sensor

We are developing an affordable air pollution sensor called Sniffy which will enable Southampton’s community to measure the quality of the air they breathe in places which matter to them – either at home or at work. Sniffy can be mounted virtually anywhere there is power and a Wi-Fi connection. We aim to make air quality monitoring both simple and interesting. We’ll run guided walks, bike rides and events to bring awareness of air quality to everyone.

Installing many Sniffy sensors across Southampton gives a unique picture of the air quality and polluting sources around our city.

Who We Are

We’re an unincorporated charity, fully run by volunteers: We’re engineers, academics, event organisers and interested individuals, bringing together a unique skillset of different disciplines. Our idea is simple – to provide residents and local businesses in Southampton with an affordable sensor to make an honest assessment of the air quality and ultimately facilitate change.

The founding team of Air Watch:

We believe that Air Watch has the potential to become a clean air revolution, motivating real change by making air quality visual and more personal. For its success, we rely on a network of volunteers and we are urgently looking for more people to support our team. Your involvement could be as simple as purchasing one of our affordable sensors, helping us with our community outreach, providing technical advice to our development team or joining further sensor development projects with your engineering or computer science know-how. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you are interested in supporting us, even if you are unsure of the role you would like to fill.

Get involved