Becoming a Citizen of Science (and Balloons)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Air Quality Balloons

Lately I've been taking some photographs for a friend's research project on Air Quality Balloons. It turns out, if you hook a VOC sensor to a computer chip and an LED, you can make balloons change from green to yellow to red as the surrounding air quality gets worse. Our research shows that drunk people in Shadyside on a Friday night really like giant balloons that change colors ;)

Hack Pittsburgh Air Quality Balloons

This project is part of a growing movement, called Citizen Science where individuals, often non-scientists, take part in research-like activities. In this case, it's sort of simple data collection and visualization. Is the air around you clean?

Air Quality Balloons

P.S. As an amateur photographer, there is nothing more difficult than photographing moving balloons outside, in the dark. I made a valiant attempt here.


Lyn said...

I also quite like the balloons that
change colour!
ps thank you for the lovely comment on my blog too.

Unknown said...

I say these are pretty fabulous photos (for a self proclaimed amateur)!

Alison Cross said...

I haz heard of Citizen Science. I am compelled to watch Bang Goes The Theory by my son.

Guilty Crush: Jem and Dallas. And yes, I would. Individually.

Thanks for your encouragement about m'baking!

Ali x

Natasha said...

That's really interesting and I like the photos you took. Really cool way to test air quality too. Thanks for the lovely comment too :) xxx

h said...

Thanks for all your comments, everyone! I like to think my photography skills are getting slightly better ;)

Stephanie said...

I like the idea of the color-changing balloons even without alchohol! :) How cool to be involved in this experiment.

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