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SparkFun OpenLog Brings Data Logging to Air Quality Sensors

When a gravel pit blew dust into the surrounding area, Adrian Dybwad was curious to find out how much dust was actually in the air. This quest ultimately led to the founding of PurpleAir and the creation of "a global network of nearly 11,000 [air quality] sensors in over 80 countries."


Indoor Air Quality Sensor from PurpleAir


  • Quick to market
  • Quick to implement
  • Ability to report crash logs from the microcontroller


Now used by both large organizations and home enthusiasts, the PurpleAir sensors use a new generation of laser particle counters to provide real-time measurement of PM1.0, PM2.5 and PM10. Using WiFi, the sensors are able to update a global map in real time to allow users to see air quality in their area.

In order to improve their sensors to offer additional features and log sensor data when not connected to a network, PurpleAir turned to the SparkFun OpenLog. In the SparkFun OpenLog, PurpleAir found a quick and easy way to implement an SD card logger into their existing design, without requiring hardware modifications. The SparkFun OpenLog also provided the added benefit of running independently of the main controller, meaning PurpleAir is now able to capture information any time a sensor crashes as well as other important information needed for debugging.

PurpleAir Outdoor Air Quality Sensor

Outdoor Air Quality Sensor from PurpleAir