Air Sensor Loan Program
Air quality sensors are a class of lower-cost air monitors that are portable, easy to operate, and provide real-time measurements of air pollution concentrations. The increasing availability of air sensor technology has allowed individuals, researchers, and community groups to measure and engage with local air quality. Air quality sensors can estimate a range of pollutants, including those that drive the Air Quality Index. Data from these air sensors can be made public and readily available on a scale otherwise unfeasible with regulatory monitors.
DEEP has developed a pilot sensor loan program to provide air quality sensors to community groups, educators, and public institutions interested in monitoring air quality in their community. PurpleAir monitors are a brand of air quality sensor that measure fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and report measurements to a publicly viewable map. Community-lead projects around Connecticut are deploying PurpleAir or similar air sensors to monitor for community specific air quality issues. Click here to learn more about community-based monitoring in CT.
How to Get Involved
If your community group, school, or public institution would like to apply for an air sensor loan, please email the completed Air Sensor Loan Request Form to DEEP.AirMonitoring@ct.gov.
Q: What do PurpleAir sensors measure?
A: These sensors are primarily used for measuring PM2.5 (particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers wide and smaller). PM2.5 is a concern for human health and is one of the parameters used to develop Air Quality Index (AQI). You can read more about PM2.5 here.
Q: Where can I view PurpleAir sensor information?
A: PurpleAir sensors that have been made public can be viewed on the PurpleAir Live Map. The EPA also displays data collected from PurpleAir sensors, in addition to regulatory monitors, on the Fire and Smoke Map.
Q: How can I download data collected from PurpleAir sensors?
A: Data collected from sensors can be downloaded from the live map or using the PurpleAir API. You can learn more about downloading data by clicking the download arrow on the bottom left corner of the PurpleAir Live Map.
Q: How can I acquire a PurpleAir sensor for my community?
A: The Air Bureau is currently establishing a sensor loan program for community-based monitoring. To apply for a sensor, please complete this form and submit to DEEP.AirMonitoring@ct.gov.
Q: How does data from PurpleAir sensors compare to fine particulate measurements from Connecticut's Ambient Air Monitoring Network?
A: Air sensor technologies have the benefit of typically being easier to afford and operate than regulatory grade monitors. The trade off, however, is that data from these sensors are less accurate. In contrast, regulatory monitors are held to stringent quality assurance standards to ensure high-quality data that can be used for air quality compliance and enforcement standards.
Q: What if I have more questions about the sensor loan program?
A: Please email us at DEEP.AirMonitoring@ct.gov; we'd be happy to help!
Content last updated June 20, 2023