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A New Wearable System for Sensing Outdoor Environmental Conditions for Monitoring Hyper-Microclimate

Authors: CUREAU, Roberta Jacoby; PIGLIAUTILE, Ilaria; PISELLO, Anna Laura

Abstract: The rapid urbanization process brings consequences to urban environments, such poor air quality and the urban heat island issues. Due to these effects, environmental monitoring is gaining attention with the aim of identifying local risks and improving cities’ liveability and resilience. However, these environments are very heterogeneous, and high-spatial-resolution data are needed to identify the intra-urban variations of physical parameters. Recently, wearable sensing techniques have been used to perform microscale monitoring, but they usually focus on one environmental physics domain. This paper presents a new wearable system developed to monitor key multidomain parameters related to the air quality, thermal, and visual domains, on a hyperlocal scale from a pedestrian’s perspective. The system consisted of a set of sensors connected to a control unit settled on a backpack and could be connected via Wi-Fi to any portable equipment. The device was prototyped to guarantee the easy sensors maintenance, and a user-friendly dashboard facilitated a real-time monitoring overview. Several tests were conducted to confirm the reliability of the sensors. The new device will allow comprehensive environmental monitoring and multidomain comfort investigations to be carried out, which can support urban planners to face the negative effects of urbanization and to crowd data sourcing in smart cities.

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