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Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Program                                                            
Phase 4 (2009 Deadline)

Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Using Integrated Secure Wireless Sensor and Vehicular Networks

Hafiz Malik, University of Michigan, Dearborn
Muhammad Tahir, University of Engineering and Technology Lahore
Pakistani Funding (HEC):  $35,997
US Funding (Department of State): $145,608
Project Dates: November 15, 2010 - November 14, 2013 (Extended through April 30, 2014)

Project Overview

Rapid growth in the number of vehicles on the roads is the main source of air pollution in Pakistan’s cities, and the situation is further aggravated by the lack of any plans to limit the number of new vehicle registrations in major metropolitan areas. Any future measures to address air pollution will require accurate data on pollutants, but the current monitoring network made up of a limited number of fixed monitoring stations provides insufficient information. This project addresses limitations of existing solutions by developing an integrated wireless sensor and vehicular network (WSVN). This research should lead to the creation of system architecture for secure and reliable air quality data acquisition, processing, and visualization, which will help in suggesting short- and long-term countermeasures. This joint effort should ultimately have a positive impact on the lives of ordinary Pakistanis by first quantifying the concentration of airborne pollutants and then suggesting ways of reducing environmental pollution. The solutions developed in this research may also be extended for use in environmental and soil monitoring, water quality assessment, indoor air-quality monitoring for industrial applications, and video surveillance. Pakistani university students should also benefit from the development of new course content focused on wireless networks and information security as research outcomes from the project are integrated into undergraduate and graduate curricula. Besides pursuing academic and research careers, such students would also be well prepared for careers in environmental monitoring and analysis.

Quarterly Update
 
During the last year, focus of the US team’s research was development, testing and evaluation of secure communication and resource optimization algorithms. To date they have developed, tested, and evaluated our algorithms on three types of sensor nodes, (a) commercial sensor nodes such as MicaZ etc., (b) sensor nodes acquired from Dr. Tahir’s Lab, and (c) sensor nodes developed at the UM-Dearborn.
 
At UM-Dearborn, four undergraduate students group have been working on their sensor design projects related to this project. At graduate level, Mr. Tuo Xiang and Mr. Haoyu Li completed their MS projects while working on Near Field Communications -- Defense Against Malware. Mr. Xiang used human gesture motion recognition for secure NFC. He developed a prototype using the Google Nexus Smartphone. Two graduate students are working on developing a “Test bed for Air Pollution Monitoring using Wireless Sensor Networks”. An undergraduate group of students is currently working on different aspects of the project. An M.S. student Ms. Arfa Dilawari has completed her thesis related to this project. She has developed optimization techniques for improved communication network performance by introducing new dimension to the sensor node design. In particular, she has proposed optimal data flow splitting for sensor nodes with multiple RF interfaces. Her work has resulted in two conference publications in IEEE International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications and is currently being extended for journal publication. In addition to the above mentioned human resource development, the Pakistani team has used their expertise in the development of an embedded systems laboratory, which is funded by Mentor Graphics Pakistan and grant of Rs. 3.8 Million has been sanctioned. The students will be taught to develop small size embedded platforms and they will learn the development process of software, firmware and hardware and will be exposed to the use of different debugging, programming and testing tools as well.
 
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