Within the two days of the Cyclehack Berlin we developed a functional prototype which measures the air quality while being mobile on a bike. The idea was to combine the Airrohr from the Luftdaten.info initiative with the LoRaWAN technology. We now sending the exact location of the LoRa Node in combination with the measurement data from the NovaPM10 sensor. This then gets visualized on a map to enable people to watch where a bicyclist gets into trouble in terms of air quality.
The team, consisting of Hannes, Joscha, Til, Jannis and me, has been incredible productive throughout the whole Cyclehack.
When eating an elephant take one bite at a time
We figured it would be helpful to segment the whole project into smaller steps so that everyone involved can easily choose what he would like to work on. Friday was pitch day. The idea was already clear to me. I just had to present it in a understandable manner so I could inspire as many people as possible. The team formed quickly and we were ready to start. First I quickly explained what LoRa is and does and then segmented the whole work into smaller steps.
First step was to get sensor data from the NovaPM10 Sensor. Since this was originally build to transmit data via WiFi we had no use for the pre-installed program on the board.
Two nodes, double the fun
We then used the GPS module to track the location of the nodes. A blinking blue light indicates that the node has a steady connection to at least three GPS satellites.
Third step was combining the PM10 sensory data and the GPS location data and transmitting the whole package via the LoRa protocol to the TTN. We were very fortunate to actually get a connection from the FabLab to the Central Station LoRa Gateway, which is operated by the DB Systel. (Thanks for that!)
With Mapbox we then made the whole data visible to everyone. The map we developed shows location and air quality data live from the box’ current location. The time slider on the bottom gives access to some recent history data.
Since the whole technical setup is kind of fragile and definitely would be outside most of the time, we quickly created a box and laser cutted it. This is not only helpful for protection from wind and weather it also looks cool. We also engraved our logo on the transparent roof. (Which I quickly made on the train ride)