AME410 Air Quality Display Monitor

Project by Anthony Franqui, Chris Kennedy, and Jackson Sipes

The concept for our project was based on the fact that air quality is an important issue that is affecting environmental and public health alike. We wanted to create a system that could easily visualize how the air quality has been affecting a local community, and also improve the air quality in that area.

We designed and conceptualized an Air Quality Display Monitor that is portable and allows you to visualize the quality of air in an community area through a large LCD screen and comparing two lichen samples pre and post-filtration. Our prototype reflects the type of features that the final product would have, but does not represent the final physical structure that will be seen in our conceptual project.

For our prototype, we used a solid wood frame encasing spray painted white with faux moss as representation of Lichen. Air Quality data from a Sparkfun Air Quality Sensor was displayed on an Arduino LCD Screen while connected to an Arduino UNO.


All other information about our project concept and future implementations can be found here on our Powerpoint: AQDM

Contributions were as follows:

Anthony Franqui: Fabrication and CAD conceptual design

Chris Kennedy: Arduino Code Setup and Materials

Jackson Sipes: Documentation, Presentation Materials and Conceptual Design



Look, Ask, Try, Learn


Our project is a clean display billboard that analyzes community data and displays it in a unique way, pushing communities to improve their overall environment. In order to be most effective, I wanted to research existing information on successful billboards so ours can be most influential. Although Design and Biology are of most importance in our project, marketing strategies will also have a large stake in the effectiveness of our project. Some of the best advice I found while looking at successful billboards were:

  • 2 lines of less of text (minimum information that be ready easily
  • Provide information that is useful, but accessible
  • Avoid Repetition – provide unique information that is fresh each time someone drives by


I wanted to go out in the field and ask other members of the community what billboards they have noticed in order to procure data that would be effective in strengthening our project. I asked 10 random people on the street what the last billboard they remember seeing was, where is was, and what it’s best quality was. These were some of the best responses.

What: Chik-Fil-A  Where: Freeway  Quality: Comedy

What: Playstation Ad   Where: Bus – Stop   Quality: Artistic Value/ Style

What: Banner Health   Where: 101 Freeway   Quality: 3D Style/Artistic Value


I wanted to put myself in the shoes of the general community member and see what caught my attention while I was driving around or walking down the street. I wanted to discern successful billboards from ones that didn’t receive the attention necessary. I focused on specific qualities of each billboard and tried to glean information from them so we can use it in our project. One of the qualities that stood out to me from some of the best billboards were short, clear, concise messages that matched the art on the billboard. For example, the text on the billboard matches the message or company that the artist is trying to portray. Another quality that impressed me was when the art on the billboard helps tell the message, rather than add to it. For example, a Hail Damage repair billboard shows fake hail damage on the actual billboard. Finally, I found that the size of the billboard has a lot to do with how much information you can place on it. I found that Bus Stop billboards have much more textual information on them than Freeway billboards because you can stop to read them while you are waiting, rather than driving past the board on a freeway.


I took a role-playing strategy take on how knowledge of the health of someone’s surrounding environment would impact them in changing their habits on a day to day basis. One environmental issue that is affecting almost every community is waste and failure to recycle in order to slow the growth of landfills. I took a small sample size of my roommates/friends and asked them how often they recycle on a day to day basis. The results I received were very low, as only three of the ten people in the study remember recycling in the past week. Less than half of them even have a recycling bin in their house. I then showed them statistics on the amount of waste being generated just in Phoenix and how recycling could change those numbers significantly. I got an overwhelmingly positive response on members who genuinely were seeking a change in their recycling habits, and planned to either buy a recycling bin or recycle more frequently in the future. I am excited to see that knowledge being spread to the masses could positively affect these environmental health issues, as long as it is presented in the correct manner.

Project Proposal

Project by Jackson, Anthony, Chris

Green Billboard Proposal

People like to know specific information on the type of environment that they live in. Billboards have always been an effective way of passing information to a community, therefore they can be used to sense local conditions and display the information on the board. The green billboard is inspired by the idea that people will be more conscious of the environment if they know more about how what they do impacts the world around them.

The board will sense and display information regarding the immediate environment in which it stands. The boards will also be equipped with solar panels and air filtration systems that are self powered and may provide additional power to be used elsewhere in the local environment. This will create a sustainable source of energy and clean air and a great platform for getting important information to society.

Similar projects such as the UTEC billboard, the phone sensing billboard, and the London Clear Channels billboard have explored tailoring content to the immediate environment and creating clean air. The green billboard will add the use of solar panels to create energy and will only display information about environmental issues and conditions. This sets it apart from the other similar projects and expands on the direct impact the board will have on air quality and sustainable energy as well as community awareness of their environment.

The UTEC air purifying billboard has already proven to be effective in its respective setting which leads to the assumption that the air purifying portion of the Green Billboard will also be effective. In addition, the practice of harnessing energy from the sun is tried and tested and will without doubt produce at least enough power to be self-sustaining. Not only does the Green Billboard have a direct impact on local environmental conditions but an indirect impact through the use of pro-sustainability campaigning and awareness. People will see exactly how the billboards are working to clean up the environment and will adjust personal habits and moral standings regarding sustainability. The billboards will attack problems specific to their location and will continuously create clean air and energy.

We plan to implement our billboard in areas or cities that have been dealing with environmental issues. For example, areas that struggle with air quality would highlight that information. Cities that are focusing on waste prevention would display information about waste levels in the area and how they have changed in recent history. The project would start as one billboard but could potentially expand to affect many different urban areas.

The materials that would be required to move forward with our prototype include wood, air quality sensors,  solar panels, a battery, and large LED screens that could display the information in an aesthetically pleasing format.


  • March 29 – finalize the sensor and display elements
  • April 3 to April 12 – acquire parts and start circuit testing
  • April 17 to April 19- adding circuits together
  • April 24 till end of class – adding more sensors to the billboard


Anthony – Focus on Fabrication of Prototype, sensor research

Jackson – Digital Design work and Physical Presentation items

Chris – Project Research, circuit programming, implementation, digital and physical component blending


Chris Kennedy/Jackson Sipes Color Sensor – Pipe Sensing

For our project, we were thinking about Public Sewage sensing and how we could use real time analytics to track certain chemicals in the sewage pipes. Currently, waste is only measured using daily processes that analyzes the wasted in a lab. A sewage pipe would have built in sensors that could track certain data about the waste that flows through it, and it could be displayed on a variable screen. We looked at the Color Sensor and how the color of the waste could give information about certain molecules that exist in the waste. We set up a color sensor on a breadboard and then connected it to an LED screen which displays the RGB values. These values could be monitored in realtime and then used to track information about the public in that sewage region.


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Cody Smyth Jackson Sipes Soil Sensor/LCD Sensor

For our project, we utilized a soil moisture sensor to measure the water content of different soils and then display the information on the LCD screen. The information will appear based on the analog reading and will tell you if the soil is wet, meaning that you don’t need to water your soil, or that the soil is dry, meaning that you need to add water to the soil. In the video, we use the sensor to test two different soils. The first soil has been sitting in the sun and is very dry, so we expect a low sensing number and the LCD to display “DRY”. The second soil contains much more water volume, so we expect to see a “WET” LCD output with a much larger moisture number. We could compare this to a plant that is placed in soil and needs to be watered each day. Based on the soil moisture sensor reading, you could easily figure out whether the plant needed to be watered or not.

Below is the video of our system testing the two different soils.

Here is the code that we used in order to set up our system:

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