Atmospheric Monitoring with Arduino
Building Simple Devices to Collect Data About the Environment
Publisher: Maker Media, Inc
Final Release Date: November 2012
Pages: 90

Makers around the globe are building low-cost devices to monitor the environment, and with this hands-on guide, so can you. Through succinct tutorials, illustrations, and clear step-by-step instructions, you’ll learn how to create gadgets for examining the quality of our atmosphere, using Arduino and several inexpensive sensors.

Detect harmful gases, dust particles such as smoke and smog, and upper atmospheric haze—substances and conditions that are often invisible to your senses. You’ll also discover how to use the scientific method to help you learn even more from your atmospheric tests.

  • Get up to speed on Arduino with a quick electronics primer
  • Build a tropospheric gas sensor to detect carbon monoxide, LPG, butane, methane, benzene, and many other gases
  • Create an LED Photometer to measure how much of the sun’s blue, green, and red light waves are penetrating the atmosphere
  • Build an LED sensitivity detector—and discover which light wavelengths each LED in your Photometer is receptive to
  • Learn how measuring light wavelengths lets you determine the amount of water vapor, ozone, and other substances in the atmosphere
  • Upload your data to Cosm and share it with others via the Internet

"The future will rely on citizen scientists collecting and analyzing their own data. The easy and fun gadgets in this book show everyone from Arduino beginners to experienced Makers how best to do that."
--Chris Anderson, Editor in Chief of Wired magazine, author of Makers: The New Industrial Revolution (Crown Business)

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oreillyAtmospheric Monitoring with Arduino
 
3.7

(based on 3 reviews)

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      (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Reasonably well written introduction.

      By Rusty0101

      from Robbinsdale, MN

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      Comments about oreilly Atmospheric Monitoring with Arduino:

      I am somewhat annoyed with 'project' books that show little more than a breadboard solution for monitoring tools. I think a breadboard based solution is good for introducing someone to the material, and perhaps for doing sample testing, but to do longer term monitoring, you are going to want to have a solution that protects the components from movement, which can change the operational characteristics of those components.

      Additionally in looking at the LED Photometer project, the authors suggest at the end of chapter 5 adding an accelerometer to the project to get azimuth readings when taking samples, and rather than look at any of the three solutions I can come up with off hand, complain that accelerometers require up to 3 of the analog pins.

      So, three solutions I can think of off hand. If you can live with losing 2 pins, both the adxl335 and adxl345 accelerometers have i2c interfaces which you can access with the wires library. This will use a4 and a5 on the uno board.
      Alternatively the adxl345 also has an SPI interface which will use three of pins d10-d13 giving you all 5 analog pins.
      A third option also opens up building your device to monitor on more than 5 analog ports. Set up a second arduino as a slave across spi, or use a serial interface to communicate between them. This adds complexity, but allows you to do other things as well, perhaps use an array of photo-resistors, and diodes to set up an aiming system so that you can point your photometer at the sun without damaging your eyesight. Whether you use i2c directly, or across a slave arduino connected via spi, you can also add other i2c sensors. A thermometer, humidity sensor, barometric sensor and a Real Time Clock could all be set up and snapshot data of all the sensor readings could be polled for from the slave by the master.
      And there is nothing saying that you have to limit yourself to just a single slave arduino. Meaning that you could have 15, or more LED sensors if you can verify spectral accuracy, sensing at once, without going to an atmega board.

       
      4.0

      Great follow up

      By Jim the maker

      from Tucson, AZ

      About Me Designer, Developer, Educator, Maker

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      Comments about oreilly Atmospheric Monitoring with Arduino:

      As with other books by Patrick Di Justo & Emily Gertz, this one is a winner. I only have one suggestion regarding the LED projects - Clarification would be very useful as to whether the spectral absorption of the LED's is based upon the color of the lens, or if the new clear LED's would work just as well. In other words, is the spectral absorption based upon the lens color or the actual chemical composition of the LED itself?

      (3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Well written, not so well researched

      By Chuck the physicist

      from Massachusetts

      About Me Designer, Educator, Maker

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          Comments about oreilly Atmospheric Monitoring with Arduino:

          Great ideas. I have a problem using an RGB LED to find the spectral sensitivity of another LED, though. An RGB LED is *not* full spectrum. It mixes red, green, and blue narrow-spectrum intensities to make a color that our eyes *percieve* as, say, orange. But a spectroscope will reveal that there is no orange light in that orange, just a mix of R, G, and B. So we cannot generate an arbitrary wavelength with an RGB LED. We can only measure the sensitivity to each of the three colors individually.
          Other than that particular issue, though, I am happy with the book and will build the devices.

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