Utlilizing low cost temperature sensors for analyzing and mitigating urban heat hazards.

Authors: Andrew Grundstein*, University of Georgia, Yanzhe Yin, The University of Georgia, Navid Hashemi, The University of Georgia, Deepak Mishra, The University of Georgia, Laksmish Ramaswamy, The University of Georgia, John Dowd, The University of Georgia
Topics: Sustainability Science, Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Hazards and Vulnerability
Keywords: urban heat island, urban sustainability, health, sensors
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Taylor, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


High-quality temperature data in both space and time are critical for mitigating the risk for heat-related health problems in urban environments. The variability of urban landscapes makes cities challenging locations for quantifying heat exposure. Most of the existing urban heat studies have inherent limitations on two fronts: (1) the spatiotemporal granularities are too coarse; and (2) the ability to track the actual heat exposure of individuals is insufficient. This research investigates a community-centric approach for studying and mitigating UHI-associated exposure risks by harnessing a diverse set of high-resolution temperature data from low cost sensors. Here, we discuss our use of low cost, ground-based human and vehicle-borne temperature sensors. For human-borne sensors, we used small, commercially available temperature instruments (Kestrel Drops) in conjunction with a mobile app that uploads temperature and location in real-time to a cloud-based server. For vehicles, we built sensors that met certain conditions: fast response temperature measurements, GPS capabilities, and long battery life. These vehicle-borne sensors used Adafruit Feather M0 Microprocessor, Adafruit GPS FeatherWing module, DS3231 high precision real-time clock, and DS18B20 temperature sensor. Multivariate and random forest models are used to understand the spatial-temporal heat characteristics across our research area. The findings from this study will be beneficial for understanding the heat exposure vulnerabilities of individual communities such as outdoor workers and other at-risk populations. It may also lead a pathway for local government and businesses to devise targeted hazard mitigation efforts such as increasing greenspace at specific locations and developing better heat-safety policies for workers.

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