Air Sensor Workgroup

Community-driven standards and infrastructure for air quality data

The Air Sensor Workgroup (ASW) is a broad-based group established to support the rapidly growing community of people developing and using sensor-based air quality devices. The ASW’s goal is to help advance this technology sector with infrastructural support that includes adoption of data standards and provision of an open data platform.

EDF has organized this group which consists of participants from state and federal government, academic institutions, instrument manufacturers, and other organizations and stakeholders interested in furthering the principles of air quality data being open and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable).

Data standards will enable the use of uniform definitions and data structures, identify key data elements necessary to describe the data, and provide common data exchange formats.

The Data Platform will provide for centralized data storage and enable analysis and visualization of neighborhood level air quality data. The Data Platform will also provision infrastructure to perform big data computation and allow for data products to be developed ranging from simple reports to complex analytical workflows to understand the sensor response and encourage the community to develop data-driven solutions to cleaner air.

Who’s involved

Air Sensor Workgroup is a collaboration of experts from diverse fields and organizations who believe that low-cost air sensors have the potential to change our understanding of people’s exposure to air pollution.  The combination of distributed sensor networks and mobile-ready sensor applications present a unique opportunity to monitor air quality with unprecedented spatio-temporal resolution. If pollutant concentrations can be reliably quantified, such sensors could inform the sources and fate of air pollution impacting our communities.

To achieve this vision, ASW will be developing data standards and guidelines, and provision infrastructure to host readily accessible data along with metadata that can be analyzed and interpreted by anyone.

EDF brought this group together and has been leading the effort to achieve democratization of air quality data.


Our initial goals are to:

  1. Promote development of data standards for the air quality domain
  2. Adopt standardized definitions of terms or ontology for air quality measurements
  3. Promote uniform, common and standard units of measurement for pollutants and meteorological parameters affecting air quality
  4. Promote development of an open-access and open-source data platform to collect and store data from low- and medium-cost air sensors while maintaining the necessary privacy and security of data
  5. Develop tools to analyze air quality data and facilitate expeditious development of data products
  6. Develop simple visualizations of data to provide graphical representation for researchers
  7. Collaborate with sensor manufacturers to facilitate adoption of data standards
  8. Encourage the development of auto-calibration methods for sensors
  9. Promote development of data products to facilitate scaling of sensor network deployments

Media contact

  • Sharyn Stein
    (202) 572-3396 (office)
    (202) 905-5718 (cell)

ASW resources

Date and timestamp guidelines
Derived from standards of ISO, IETF, and W3C

External resources

Group members

ASW members come from non-governmental organizations, industry, government and academia. We meet regularly to review the work done and to plan for subsequent deliverables.

Organizations represented: