Lunar Outpost Partners with City of Denver on Air Quality

Press Release Announcing Lunar Outpost Partnership with the City of Denver

Lunar Outpost, a local Colorado space resources company, is bringing its extraterrestrial expertise down to Earth in a partnership with the City and County of Denver Department of Environmental Health. Together, they are working on a new initiative to help monitor and improve air quality in the area. Although an aerospace focused company, Lunar Outpost saw this project as an opportunity to help improve the local community and develop air monitoring technology that could also have applications in future space endeavors. Lunar Outpost is headed by Justin Cyrus, a University of Colorado and Colorado School of Mines graduate with experience working on military and civilian space technologies. It was founded at the beginning of 2017 with the goal of utilizing space resources to disrupt and improve the space and energy Industries.

This project, led by Air Quality Analyst Michael Ogletree of Denver’s Department of Environmental Health, will be unprecedented in terms of enabling the real-time monitoring of air quality across the Denver Metro Area. A network of these sensors can be used to analyze trends in air quality, identify potential sources of pollution, allow for solutions to be developed for those sources, and issue warnings for poor air quality areas.

In the 1970’s and 1980’s, the Denver area exceeded EPA air quality standards for up to 200 days per year. Since then, the region has made significant strides in reducing air pollution through a combination of sound public policies, improved control technologies, and behavior changes.

In Denver, motor vehicles are still the primary contributor to air pollution.  Even though air quality has improved dramatically, our understanding of air pollution and its impacts on health has also improved.  Traditional air pollution monitoring is rigorous, expensive, and is not commonly done in more than a few locations in any one city.  With population growth (and the associated increase in motor vehicles), there is increased public interest in understanding “hot-spots” via the use of reliable low cost sensors that can be deployed in numerous locations.    The air quality sensors can be deployed in a comprehensive network, covering key locations such as schools, parks, and busy intersections. The data go to a centralized database, where it will be stored and analyzed. Knowledge gained from these tools will help the city better plan for localized air quality hotspots and guide management strategies for healthier air.

To ensure a quality, accurate, cost effective sensor system, Lunar Outpost will be designing and building the air quality sensor systems from the ground up. The preliminary design work by Lunar Outpost associated with creating the sensor is being performed at no cost to the city.  Low cost portable sensors are being deployed in many trials throughout the US currently and Denver is testing several commercially available versions in partnership with a local university and other regulatory partners.

If you wish to get more information on Lunar Outpost, please visit their website at: www.lunaroutpost.com

For Denver’s Department of Environmental Health please visit: www.denvergov.org/EnvironmentalHealth