Project Eclipse: a low-cost, accurate environmental sensing platform for cities
Poor air quality is something most urban residents experience regularly, but because it’s largely invisible and we lack sensors to help inform us it has become something of a “silent killer”. Linked to a number of serious health ailments, including heart and lung disease, as well as issues like asthma aggravation, the World Health Organization estimate that 91% of the world’s population live in places where air quality exceeds guideline limits. With Project Eclipse, the Urban Innovation Initiative presents a suite of low-cost environmental sensors for cities. The goal is a radical increase (10x – 100x) in the geographic granularity of environmental sensing in cities in support of a variety of public health scenarios.
Aerial view of Shanghai skyscrapers in the early morning
Project Eclipse sensor technologies include:
- State of the art electronic board-based sensor packs—low-powered, multi-sensor boards that are suitable for outdoor use. Customization of on-board sensors is possible.
- Computer vision analytics for camera-based sensors—used for both air quality measurement and Vision Zero related traffic safety.
- Analogue colorimetric ink-based chemical sensors
- Hybrid electro-molecular sensors
Project Eclipse sensors measure:
- Air quality: O3, CO, NO2, SO2, PM 2.5, temperature, humidity, and AQI broadly
- Traffic: camera analytics for Vision Zero effort to automatically detect pedestrian crossings, bikes, near miss collisions, and more.
Overhead view of a busy crosswalk in Hong Kong
Azure data store + analytics
Each air quality sensor sends data directly to Azure via LTE-M. As part of the urban sensing platform, the data in Azure are available for city consumption and use. Data are available in raw format (timestamps plus sensor readings) per device or in various aggregated forms. Data scientists at Microsoft Research will work with cities to develop analytics scripts.
Partnerships and Contact: Microsoft Research is developing a partnership program to deploy the Project Eclipse sensing platform in cities. Contact email@example.com to learn more about how to participate.