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The Interactive Air Quality Map: Vlog 3 - The Network Overview

One of the goals of this project is to provide a reliable public source of information on air quality. In my previous article, I discussed the physical hardware responsible for recording air quality data. Here, I would like to address the network that will carry this data and make it accessible to anyone in Lagos, regardless of their location. This task is quite challenging, especially considering that there is currently only one active sensor in Lagos.

To visualize the air quality monitoring network in Lagos, I employed 3D printing to create model cars representing mobile air quality loggers, as well as miniature Eiffel Tower models to symbolize network gateways. Additionally, I utilized a scaled-down cardboard circle, measuring approximately 19 cm in diameter, to portray a 14 km coverage area in Lagos. By strategically overlapping the gateways around the mainland, I gained insight into the extensive coverage achievable with just a few network gateways. Remarkably, even with Lagos being relatively small in size, only four gateways proved to be highly effective.

Network Overview - how sensors interact with AQ Map

The network simulated in this project is a LoRaWAN network, which accounts for the assumed 14km coverage. In this setup, each mobile logger transmits its air quality readings using LoRa to any nearby gateway. The data is then transferred over the internet and stored on a network server, enabling access from any location, including those where the interactive air quality maps will be installed.

Going with LoRa for the connection between the loggers and gateways offers several advantages. Not only does it enable long-range coverage, but finding available LoRaWAN gateways to connect the loggers would significantly simplify the task at hand.

Follow Ahmed's weekly progress in developing the Interactive Air Quality Map 2.0 across Lagos.

I am a passionate Hardware Engineer, with a deep interest in Robotics and Embedded hardware/software. I enjoy picking up new skills and challenging myself with finding innovative technological solutions.