In general, the establishment of a new yard imposes several environmental monitoring requirements.

They range from the analysis of the temporal concentration of specific indicators during all stages of processing (before, during, after and alternating day/night) to the real-time monitoring of some meteorological parameters. This last aspect is aimed at technical support to operational decisions, inherent, both work processes (thrown, asphalting, outdoor work), and the safety of machinery, plants and, not least, of the workers involved.

However, the same environment of the site interested by the measurements imposes important constraints to the monitoring systems that can be used for these purposes. According with it, the panorama of solutions available on the market traditional is limited: in particular none can be found at affordable costs.

Formerly, given the precariousness of the installations, the monitoring stations should be easily moved within the yard and then self-powered by solar panels and batteries, regardless of the energy required by the instrumentation.

Latterly, the overall dimensions must be reduced to a minimum. Furthermore, moving parts must be limited as much as possible, and oversized filters must equip them. These features lead to reduce the maintenance intervals to the standards usually adopted for conventional settings.

These and other deeper technical specifications guided the design of open hardware solutions within the framework of the “smartYARD”[1] project.

The project is implemented following a direct commission of the “Studio Progetto Ambiente Srl” ( company of Turin. They coordinated the activities, and dictated the specifications of two new configurations:

  • ROSSELLI (Full Weather Station)
    • speed and wind direction;
    • air temperature;
    • air pressure;
    • relative humidity;
    • precipitation height.
  • DUSTYARD (Measurement of the concentration of dust in yards)
    • fine particulate in the PM10 fraction.


In its first application, the project “smartYARD” refers mainly to the environmental monitoring of the yard regarding the development of the railway line Turin-Ceres in the urban context of the city of Turin.

Dust monitoring, crucial for “smartYARD” determines a subdivision of the project on a three stages basis (during the whole project the meteo variables will be furtherly monitored):

  • ante-operam: the aim is to obtain the best characterization of the site (blank) before the yard. Thus, the best calibration curve to be applied to data from the PM10 sensor will be defined;
  • real-time: as introduced, the main goal of the project is to continuously monitor the yard and to make actions following data (i.e.: overcoming fixed thresholds);
  • post-operam: to put in evidence the presence/absence of long-term effects determined by the yard, the interesting variables will be monitored even after the end of the operations.


[1] the “smart city” concept is borrowed: according with it the yard is made “smarter” through the real-time monitoring of some environmental parameters of interest. Furthemore, also the sharing of data is an added value.