Chapter one



The environment consists of many physical quantities such as gases, temperature, pressure, mass, and several other physical factors. These quantities are essentially environmental factors which affect the environment as well as how humans interact with their environment; ranging from their homes to the industries (Artiola et al., 2004). In our contemporary society today, there is the need to measure these environmental factors because their effect cannot be over-looked (Welsch, 2002). For instance, a change in the temperature of the immediate environment may indicate an abnormally, also a change in the composition of the ambient gas of a room may indicate a gas leakage resulting to a fire outbreak; even a slight drop in the light level of a controlled environment or regular environment may indicate a lighting problem or even worse; hence, the need to measure environment factors cannot be overemphasized.

 In order for monitoring activities to be effective, it is important to identify focused, relevant, and adaptive questions that can be used to guide the development of a monitoring plan (Lovett et al., 2007). There is an immediate need for a simple environmental monitoring system because, the current available systems which monitors these environmental factors are bulky and majority of the physical quantities give analog data which requires tedious effort and hence resulting in human error when they are being manipulated manually. For instance, the thermometer used to measure temperature contain mercury whose height indicates the current temperature is quite inefficient because it fails to provide precise values of temperature, also takes a lot of time to reach constant position and the photometer used in measuring light intensity is bulky, has a complicated working and operation.




1.2   Background of study

            In attempt to build simple environmental monitoring device such as micro-controller based systems, that make use of the ATMEL89S52, PIC16F877A micro-controllers have all been proved abortive due to the fact that they all make use of too many electronic components and have a complex programming structure for the execution of output (Goswami et al., 2009).

This project employs the Arduino Uno development board which is built around the ATMega238 micro-controller working at 16MHz frequency as supplied by the crystal oscillator (Michael, 2012) which has a simple programming structure and requires lesser electronic components such as Resistor and the LED (light emitting diode) for also uses a light dependent resistor (LDR; GL55xx) which is connected into a voltage divider network to measure the light intensity in lumens (lux) and a MQ-2 gas sensor is employed to detect smoke, and gases such as CH4 and C4H10 (methane and butane).

The ATmega328 micro-controller is a 28 pin Integrated Circuit; having 14 digital input/output pins (of which 6 is capable of pulse width modulation output), 6 analog input pins, two clock pins, a reset pin, and 5 power pins (Atmel, 1984). The Arduino Uno is suitable for this project mainly because of its simplistic nature.

1.3 Aim

To construct a monitoring system that measure the following environmental factors which are light intensity and Gas level (gases like methane, propane butane and smoke).

In order to do this, several sensors are employed and interfaced with the ATmega328(a micro-controller). This project will be explaining the physical principles behind the environmental factors in view as well as the physical principles on which the sensors being employed work on.




1.4 Applications

  • It can be used in industries that is based on gas production.
  • The system is proposed to protect ourselves from any gas leakage in gas cooking appliances.
  • It helps in virtual comfort.
  • It can be in a hospital to control the lighting system.
  • It can be used in the laboratories.

1.5 Scope of the project

This project report consists of five chapters. The chapter one been the introduction, chapter two; literature review, chapter three; methodology, chapter four; discussion and presentation of result, chapter five; conclusion and recommendation.