Environmental dust monitoring solution to measure the impact of dust storms.
An entity that brings together specialists in urban and regional planning, natural resources, industry, environment, heritage, Aboriginal and social housing, and Crown lands and water.
Dust storms, which are created by wind erosion cause soil and nutrient losses to farmers, degrade natural environments, and damage human health and infrastructure.
A rural air quality monitoring network consisting of citizen-scientists is currently gathering data related to dust storms to monitor wind erosion and help care for land and soils. These community volunteers record data and observations about dust in their local area.
39 air quality monitoring stations across western NSW, Victoria and South Australia received a $1.5 million upgrade during 2021 to measure fine particles less than 2.5 µm in diameter (PM2.5).
These fine particles are the major cause of reduced visibility and health impacts, especially for vulnerable people like the elderly and those with heart or lung disease.
Upgrades were undertaken in collaboration with local land services, who support a number of stations in the rural air quality monitoring network.
Each of the 39 stations are monitored and maintained by a local volunteer. These volunteers are absolutely critical to the network.
Kenelec Scientific supplied industry-recognised TSI DustTrak DRX real-time aerosol monitors housed in rugged customised enclosures.
These systems which include Vaisala weather sensors and telemetry are designed to be easily set up and deployed to remote locations, and to transmit real time data back to the customer’s headquarters for analysis.
Local communities across the state’s regional and rural areas now have access to improved public information on local air quality. The upgraded monitoring stations will allow people to make informed decisions about managing potential health impacts and deliver greater certainty for communities.
The upgrades have not only improved the accuracy and reliability of the data but will also make it easier for volunteers to maintain the equipment and troubleshoot issues onsite.
Air quality data from this Rural Air Quality Monitoring Network is updated hourly and can be accessed online.
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Products used in this project
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