The Arctic is one critical environment for monitoring climate change as well as variations in background concentrations of atmospheric components. The associated logistic difficulties, though, make hard to deploy an extensive monitoring network of sensors, limiting long time-series to only sparse and costly point observations.
Low-cost sensors are experiencing a widespread employment in research and monitoring applications and could be an interesting tool to deploy spatialized monitoring networks even in extreme environments. In this context, two CNR Labs (IBE and ISAC) made a long-term deployment of a prototypal low-cost sensor for atmospheric composition monitoring in the polar research village of Ny-Ålesund (Svalbard, Norway). In about one year of measurements the low-cost sensor showed:
- a good consistency in the data series with minimal data loss,
- no significant requirements for maintenance and
- the capability of capturing the main atmospheric trends of the Arctic lower troposphere.