Aurassure: Air quality monitoring to keep environment clean

Paromik Chakraborty is a technical journalist at EFY

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Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Patna, Gwalior, Amritsar—what unites all these cities is the problem of pollution. Delhi has consistently ranked as one of the most polluted metros in the world. The aggressive urbanisation and industrialisation have elevated the pollution level even further. Thus, taking note of the situation, Odisha-based Phoenix Robotix came up with Aurassure—an innovative environment monitoring device that helps industries know the level of their pollutant emission.

The Aurassure device with solar panel
Fig. 1: The Aurassure device with solar panel

The journey: From idea to oeuvre

With the market having only a handful of bulky and highly expensive devices to do the job, Amiya Kumar Samantaray, founder and CEO, Phoenix Robotix, saw an opportunity in it. He realised that the proposed solutions were ineffective as the analysis itself was incomplete. And so, the company designed Aurassure—a device that captures different air quality parameters from widely distributed locations and showcases in a web platform with mobile app to visualise and analyse the ambient air quality. Its USP lies in the fact that it is both user-friendly as well as affordable.

Initially aimed as a solution for industries, keeping in mind the mandated Central Pollution Control Board guidelines of ambient air quality monitoring by the industries themselves, Aurassure found a bigger application scope with the inception of smart cities.

The science behind the innovation

Aurassure is a cloud-connected ambient air quality monitoring solution for smart cities and industries. Released in January 2017, it aims at helping cities and municipalities to frame better environmental policies to reduce the impact of outdoor air pollution through real-time location-based air quality information. Aurassure can create a pre-warning system by bridging the gap between the government and people.

Aurassure system architecture
Fig. 2: Aurassure system architecture Fig. 3: The Aurassure online dashboard The Aurassure team of Phoenix Robotix

The Aurassure system arrangement starts with the sensors. Wireless portable wall- or pole-mountable sensors are installed around the perimeter of the intended premises. The sensors can be driven by batteries that are charged using solar power or run on mains AC power supply lines. In a solar setup, 7.4V Li-ion batteries, charged by a 12V 10W solar panel, store renewable solar energy to provide necessary uninterrupted power to the sensors to work. Parameters of ambient air condition within and around the perimeter, including critical air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, ammonia, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, PM1.0, PM2.5 and PM10, and weather conditions such as ambient temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, wind direction, wind speed, noise and rainfall, are measured by the sensors in real time. The measurement data is digitised and logged, then sent wirelessly, through a cellular IP GPRS modem, to a cloud server via GPRS gateways. The connection can also be made using Wi-Fi or a LoRa network. The transmitted data is secured through AES 256-bit encryption. Data acquisition and analytics is performed on cloud using computational and predictive algorithms, and the results visualised on Aurassure’s web interface in the form of charts, graphs, tables and other data representation methods. Aurassure also offers a mobile application that enables individual users to connect wirelessly to the cloud through their smartphone and check the data on-the-go. The system can work in the temperature range of -20°C to 55°C and relative humidity capacity between 5 per cent and 95 per cent.

Aurassure, when integrated with the web platform, provides a complete solution with features like remote device configuration and calibration. It can also be easily integrated with any third-party platform through standard API. The company has plans for further upgrades such as addition of more sensors and software features.

Hitting the market with a bang

Launched earlier this year, Aurassure is currently in the initial marketing phase. Since the product is customised, it is priced on ‘per device’ basis. Usually, the pricing includes sensor requirements of the customer and subscription model for the online software platform. The product otherwise can cost up to one million rupees.

The Aurassure online dashboard
Fig. 3: The Aurassure online dashboard

The company claims to have been receiving enquiries about Aurassure from different municipalities as well as companies across sectors. In fact, PSU major Steel Authority of India has implemented Aurassure in its Rourkela plant after it received several complaints from neighbouring townships and villages about emission of harmful pollutants. With permission from the regional office of State Pollution Control Board, Odisha, and Rourkela Steel Plant, Aurassure was installed near the fencing of the plant to enable fence-line monitoring.

Installed for three months till date, the system continuously measures pollutant emission from the plant. The collected data provides detailed insight into the operations that are majorly responsible for pollution and should be controlled. Acting on the data, the plant authorities were able to cut down chances of further emission. The solution also provided a pollution trend analysis, helping the plant authorities to plan their operations so as to minimise pollution to neighbouring residential places.

The Aurassure team of Phoenix Robotix
The Aurassure team of Phoenix Robotix

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