New environmental sensor kits from ams enable easy prototyping of indoor air quality monitoring systems

Premstaetten, Austria (15 November, 2016) -- ams AG (SIX: AMS), a leading provider of high performance sensors and analog ICs, today introduced two new evaluation kits intended for designers who wish to integrate a compact, low-power indoor air quality (IAQ) monitoring circuit into portable devices such as smartphones + wearables and home + building automation devices such as thermostats and IP cameras.

The CCS811-LG_EK_ST kit combines two environmental sensors from ams:

  • the CCS811, a gas sensor system-on-chip (SSoC) uses low-power sensor technology to detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in an indoor environment. The CCS801-DF_EK_ST kit features a CCS801 VOC gas sensor with an external MCU instead of a CCS811.
  • the ENS210, a relative humidity and temperature sensor IC which achieves very high accuracy

The CCS811 includes an embedded microcontroller which runs ams algorithms to convert raw sensor readings into equivalent total VOC (ppb) and equivalent CO(ppm) measurements.These can be used to provide a measure of IAQ. The measurements of relative humidity and temperature taken by the ENS210 allow the system to adjust the digital output of the CCS811 by compensating for changes in the ambient environment.

Used together with the ams algorithms, the CCS8x1 and ENS210 sensors provide a complete solution for IAQ monitoring which consumes little power and has a very small board footprint, making it suitable for a wide range of portable applications.

The new evaluation kits provide a simple way to configure and operate the sensor system, and to log and view its measurements. Each kit consists of a sensor board with an I2C digital interface, a USB-to-I2C board and a USB cable. The board is supported by a free graphical user interface for a PC based on the Windows® operating system.

Designers can start up the CCS8x1/ENS210 sensor board within minutes simply by plugging the kit into a PC’s USB port and launching the downloadable GUI software. In the GUI, users can choose one of three pre-defined operating modes: sampling at 1s, 10s or 60s intervals. Graphs of raw sensor data, relative humidity and temperature measurements, equivalent total VOC and equivalent CO2 levels are logged and displayed in the GUI.

“Consumer demand for information about the quality of the air we breathe indoors is growing fast. The CCS8x1and ENS210 offer a solution for IAQ monitoring which is small and compatible with battery-powered systems. These new evaluation kits from ams make it easy for designers to model the system’s operation and to verify that it produces consistent, reliable IAQ information in the application’s intended operating environment”, said Paul Wilson, senior marketing manager at ams.