Date of Thesis

Spring 2020


The majority of heavy-duty trucks in America today are powered by diesel engines that produce exhaust components most damaging to human health. Communities such as Lewisburg, PA have an interest in monitoring these trucks to understand the potential health implications of the air they breathe. Presently, the equipment to monitor the exhaust components is too expensive (~$50,000) for the community science price point and is limited in the number of locations it can be deployed. To fill this void, there is the opportunity to utilize low-cost sensors (~$500) to monitor the exhaust. This work set out to design, build, calibrate and test a low-cost sensor system to detect passing truck traffic based on their exhaust components. The low-cost sensor systems were able to detect truck traffic within a mixed traffic stream based on the emitted nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM). These sensor systems could enable studies ranging from determining the number of trucks passing a specific location to looking at the air quality at different distances from a road. The low-cost sensor systems succeeded in detecting passing truck traffic and have enormous potential for the studies that they could enable.


Low-Cost, Sensors, Air Monitoring, Truck Traffic, Particulate Matter, Nitrogen Dioxide

Access Type

Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering


Chemical Engineering

Minor, Emphasis, or Concentration

Computer Science

First Advisor

Dabrina D Dutcher

Second Advisor

Timothy Raymond

Third Advisor

Thomas DiStefano