Sriniwasa Prabhu N. has a Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from the College of Engineering Guindy, Anna University, Chennai and a Masters in Environmental Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, USA. For ~one year, he worked with the CAPS team in CMU on the low-cost multi-pollutant sensor package, RAMPs, and was part of the team that successfully deployed a network of 50 RAMPs in Pittsburgh city (USA). Since then, he has moved to India and started his own company to work in air quality science and technology. He plans to bring RAMPs or develop similar low-cost sensor package to aid CPCB and MoEF&CC to make India a leader in ambient air quality monitoring with the largest network in the world. In his free time, Srini loves to pack his camera and travel somewhere new.
A short Q &A with Srini:
What is RAMP?
RAMP is a multi-pollutant sensor package that monitors CO, CO2, NO, NO2, SO2, VOCs, O3 and it includes MetOne NPM or PurpleAir PM2.5 monitor. RAMP has been deployed in a large scale (~50 monitors) in Pittsburgh, USA. These sensors are calibrated against reference monitors for a period of more than 30 days. Both lab and field calibration experiments were conducted using simple models like MLR and complex Random Forest machine learning models. Results can be accessed here.
What is the purpose of the current deployment in India? How will the data be used?
RAMPs were developed at Centre for Atmospheric Particle Studies (CAPS) in Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. I worked as a research assistant with the RAMPs team for almost two years. I have currently moved back to India and I am deploying RAMPs in as many as places I can, to gather data and show regulatory bodies/interested people about the possibility and validity/reliability of such low-cost multi-pollutant sensor packages. I strongly believe in developing countries like India, who can’t spare a lot of money for large ambient air quality monitoring networks, needs such low-cost sensors. RAMPs may not be as accurate as a reference grade monitors but it can measure pollutant concentration to be representative of the ambient concentration indicating their trend which is essential for policymakers and public awareness.
Are there plans for more monitors in India?
I am looking for support from corporate/regulatory bodies to come forward and set up a pilot high-resolution RAMP network in one of our metro cities. When people see what the RAMPs can do, I think we can bring about a revolution in AAQ monitoring in India.