Case Study

Air quality monitoring at the Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica

Atmospheric Analytical Services

Need

In 2022 the Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratory and Atmospheric Analytical Services collaborated with several innovative fieldwork research projects which allowed students to gain experience with new innovative products and establish connections with international companies. Kunak was one of the companies collaborating with this network of professional researchers.

The Turrialba Volcano summit reaches up to 3,340 meters (10,958 feet) in altitude and, due to its geophysical features, it is a challenge to use certain instrumentation (drones, instruments dependent on cellular communication, etc.). The Turrialba volcano is the closest volcano to the Caribbean inside the territories of Costa Rica and makes up part of the Central Volcanic Range of Costa Rica.

Since the eruptive period from 1998-2008, researchers with Universidad Nacional have consistently tracked fumarole activity, temperature, degassing, and earthquakes around the Turrialba volcanic region. New data collection stations and innovative approaches to the collection of air quality data around degassing volcanoes are now assisting with these observations of these volcanic national parks.

The air quality data collected with the Kunak AIR Pro station at the summit of the volcano was broadcast live to show the air quality data to the university for social science and enhanced safety of the community nearby. The data collected helped them gain an overall better understanding of the activity seen coming from the summit of the Turrialba volcano during this period. Investigators with the Atmospheric Chemistry laboratory of Universidad Nacional have been bringing gas detection equipment to this area since April 2022 and in May of 2023, increased degassing data was recovered from the fieldwork.

During the day the gas ratios were stable. The degassing of the Turrialba volcano was constant, with a plume of SO2, H2S and CO2. The air dispersion modelling showed a mass of air going to the southwest, around Finca Central and the Irazú volcano.

 

  • Presentation of Team in action at Turrialba Summit (video)
  • Turrialba Volcano (3D Digital Model)
  • Remote Pilot – Ian Godfrey FAA Part 107 # 4386825 SINAC
  • Special Use UAS Research Permit – SINAC-ACC-PI-LC-037-2021
  • Title of Study – “Estudio de las emisiones volcánicas y su afectación a la población cercana.”
The data collected helped to obtain a better overall understanding of the activity coming from the volcano during the analysed period.
Air quality monitoring at the summit of the Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica - KunakAir quality monitoring at the summit of the Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica - KunakAir quality monitoring at the summit of the Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica - KunakAir quality monitoring at the summit of the Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica - KunakAir quality monitoring at the summit of the Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica - KunakAir quality monitoring at the summit of the Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica - Kunak

Solution

Since there was a period with frequent atmospheric fluctuation in pressure and wind dynamics, the strategic positioning of various devices around the active degassing volcano crater was essential. The Kunak AIR Pro sensor was used as a monitoring station because it was able to easily connect to the local network and send real-time air quality data and air pollution concentrations back to the university in Heredia. The Kunak station, calibrated before the deployment, gave data 24/7 because it was consistently powered by a solar panel enabling the data collection process.

The public-private collaboration offered the unique opportunity to contribute to the development of international partnerships, essential for the collection of actionable data used for public safety and hazard mitigation associated with the air quality analysis of active volcanic craters that many people wish to visit. The device allowed the collection of volcanic emissions data and showcased it to various interested parties in Costa Rica, Spain, and the United States.

The Kunak AIR Pro station was deployed in other volcanic national parks throughout Costa Rica. The air quality data was used for public safety and hazard mitigation for the people visiting these beautiful natural areas. The three active volcanoes that were monitored with the Kunak AIR Pro were:

Results

The collected data at the summit of the volcano was streamed live to show the air quality data to the university for social science purposes and to improve the safety of the nearby community.

The establishment of the public-private partnership created an opportunity for students of Universidad Nacional to collaborate directly with Kunak and many other international companies assisting with this research and fieldwork. When companies like Kunak take particular care in helping students in different countries, real work tangible positive impacts can be achieved.

“Collectively we would like to extend a very special thanks to Javier Fernández Huerta, CEO of Kunak, for his advice and support in the project, Edurne Ibarrola Ulzurrun, PhD for her consistent support with the calibration and network monitoring when the device was deployed in the field and José Pablo Sibaja Brenes for the interpretation of atmospheric pollution data and for communicating the science of this research project to the students of the Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratory of Universidad Nacional (LAQAT-UNA). We also would like to sincerely thank Dr. Geoffroy Avard of the Volcanic and Seismic Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI-UNA) for his support with safety in the field, project oversight, logistics and transportation.”

 

Ian Godfrey, Business Owner of Atmospheric Analytical Services LLC

Project details

Customer: Atmospheric Analytical Services

User: Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry - Universidad Nacional

Location: Turrialba Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Sector:

Year: 2023

Parameters:

  • SO2 (sulfur dioxide); H2S (hydrogen sulfide); CO2 (carbon dioxide); NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) and O3 (ozone).
  • Particulate matter (PM1, PM2.5, PM4, PM10, Total Suspended Particles and Total Particle Count).
  • Temperature, relative humidity, and atmospheric pressure.
  • Wind speed and direction.

Solutions

  • AIR ProProfessional air quality monitoring station
    Air quality monitor

    AIR Pro

    The most accurate air quality monitoring station

    SENSOR-BASED | BEST AVAILABLE ACCURACY

    Benefits

    • Multi-pollutant
    • Smart cartridge system
    • Fully autonomous
    • Real-time data
    • Proven accuracy
    See more
  • AIR CloudAir quality software
    Air quality software - Kunak AIR Cloud

    AIR Cloud

    Multipurpose air quality software for professionals

    REAL-TIME DATA | ALWAYS UPDATED

    Benefits

    • Secure and condifential
    • Air quality reporting
    • Advanced data analysis and visualisation
    • Reliable data guaranteed
    • Data sharing and integration
    See more
  • Sulphur dioxideReliable real-time data on SO2
    Sulphur_dioxide

    Sulphur dioxide

    Reliable information about sulphur dioxide

    GASPLUG TECHNOLOGY | PATENTED DESIGN

    Specs

    • Electrochemical
    • R2 >0.7
    • Range: 0-10,000 ppb
    • Resolution: 1 ppb
    • 24 months of operating life
    See more
  • Hydrogen sulfide sensorReliable real-time data on H2S
    Hydrogen-sulfide

    Hydrogen sulfide sensor

    Reliable information about hydrogen sulfide

    GASPLUG TECHNOLOGY | PATENTED DESIGN

    Specs

    • Electrochemical
    • R2 >0.8
    • Range: 0-2,000 ppb (Type A) | 0-20 ppm (Type B)
    • Resolution: 1 ppb (Type A) | 0.01 ppm (Type B)
    • 24 months of operating life
    See more
  • Carbon dioxideReliable real-time data on CO2
    Carbon_dioxide_cartucho

    Carbon dioxide

    Reliable information about carbon dioxide

    GASPLUG TECHNOLOGY | PATENTED DESIGN

    Specs

    • NDIR
    • Typical accuracy (MAE): ±30 ppm
    • Range: 0-5,000 ppm
    • Resolution: 1 ppm
    • > 7 years of operating life
    See more
  • Nitrogen dioxideReliable real-time data on NO2
    Nitreogen_dioxide

    Nitrogen dioxide

    Reliable information about nitrogen dioxide

    GASPLUG TECHNOLOGY | PATENTED DESIGN

    Specs

    • Electrochemical
    • R2 >0.85
    • Range: 0-12,000 ppb (Type A) | 0-500 ppm (Type B)
    • Resolution: 1 ppb (Type A) | 0.01 ppm (Type B)
    • 24 months of operating life
    See more
  • OzoneReliable real-time data on O3
    Ozone

    Ozone

    Reliable information about ozone

    GASPLUG TECHNOLOGY | PATENTED DESIGN

    Specs

    • Electrochemical
    • R2 >0.9
    • Range: 0-2,000 ppb
    • Resolution: 1 ppb
    • 24 months of operating life
    See more
Air quality monitor

AIR Pro

The most accurate air quality monitoring station

SENSOR-BASED | BEST AVAILABLE ACCURACY

Benefits

  • Multi-pollutant
  • Smart cartridge system
  • Fully autonomous
  • Real-time data
  • Proven accuracy
See more
Air quality software - Kunak AIR Cloud

AIR Cloud

Multipurpose air quality software for professionals

REAL-TIME DATA | ALWAYS UPDATED

Benefits

  • Secure and condifential
  • Air quality reporting
  • Advanced data analysis and visualisation
  • Reliable data guaranteed
  • Data sharing and integration
See more
Sulphur_dioxide

Sulphur dioxide

Reliable information about sulphur dioxide

GASPLUG TECHNOLOGY | PATENTED DESIGN

Specs

  • Electrochemical
  • R2 >0.7
  • Range: 0-10,000 ppb
  • Resolution: 1 ppb
  • 24 months of operating life
See more
Hydrogen-sulfide

Hydrogen sulfide sensor

Reliable information about hydrogen sulfide

GASPLUG TECHNOLOGY | PATENTED DESIGN

Specs

  • Electrochemical
  • R2 >0.8
  • Range: 0-2,000 ppb (Type A) | 0-20 ppm (Type B)
  • Resolution: 1 ppb (Type A) | 0.01 ppm (Type B)
  • 24 months of operating life
See more
Carbon_dioxide_cartucho

Carbon dioxide

Reliable information about carbon dioxide

GASPLUG TECHNOLOGY | PATENTED DESIGN

Specs

  • NDIR
  • Typical accuracy (MAE): ±30 ppm
  • Range: 0-5,000 ppm
  • Resolution: 1 ppm
  • > 7 years of operating life
See more
Nitreogen_dioxide

Nitrogen dioxide

Reliable information about nitrogen dioxide

GASPLUG TECHNOLOGY | PATENTED DESIGN

Specs

  • Electrochemical
  • R2 >0.85
  • Range: 0-12,000 ppb (Type A) | 0-500 ppm (Type B)
  • Resolution: 1 ppb (Type A) | 0.01 ppm (Type B)
  • 24 months of operating life
See more
Ozone

Ozone

Reliable information about ozone

GASPLUG TECHNOLOGY | PATENTED DESIGN

Specs

  • Electrochemical
  • R2 >0.9
  • Range: 0-2,000 ppb
  • Resolution: 1 ppb
  • 24 months of operating life
See more