Undergrad Research Project - Obtaining real-time data from the OPC-N2 sensor

Fall 2016

Raymond Paetz
Illah Nourbakhsh
Project description

The Alpha Sense OPC-N2 sensor is an accurate, laser-based air quality sensor for particulates. However, there is not currently a way to easily obtain real-time data from the sensor (the sensor is currently read using Alpha Sense’s own software). This real time data would be incredibly useful for improving the automated calibration of low-cost Speck air quality sensors which were designed in the CMU CREATE lab. The main objective of this project is to design and build a device that could read the OPC-N2 sensor’s data and send it to the pre-existing calibration setup. This will most likely involve PCB design and firmware development.

Once the device is hooked up to the calibration setup, the data will be used to improve the particle creation control loop. This will be an additional objective that will involve controls. Better data will allow for a more accurate and consistent particle count curve, thus improving calibration results.

Additionally, as a method for communicating the sensor’s data to the calibration setup or as additional goal if time allows, the sensor will be connected to a wireless device being designed in the CREATE lab. This will allow for the sensor’s data to be logged to an online database for future use.

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