You know what’s cool? Space. You know what’s also cool? Data. Now put your hands together, and what do you get? Satellite data in AirCare ?
For almost three years, we’ve been toying with the idea of using satellite data from the European Space Agency to add pollution data to cities that do not have ground sensors. It was a super cool dream back in 2017 when I visited the ESA offices in the Netherlands, and ever since then, I’ve been trying to find a way to make this available for our 200.000 users.
Well, the wait is over – starting today, AirCare has satellite data for multiple cities around the Balkans!
Why are these stations important?
Many cities in the Balkans and in the world do not have measuring stations for air quality. For example, in Albania, there is only one measuring station available online. This creates a data blackout and doesn’t help citizens stay informed about the quality of air that they breathe.
By introducing satellite data, people can now understand the estimated air pollution in their city!
What kind of data is this?
We use satellite forecast data from the European Space Agency and the Finnish SILAM model to combine wind, weather, and historical data in order to estimate current levels. Currently, we are using PM10 and PM2.5 data, and going forward, based on analysis, we may add or remove pollutants that seem to match the pattern of the ground stations.
How accurate are these measurements?
This is important – the data we show are estimates, not real-time data like ground sensors. This means that lots of parameters are taken into account when calculating the numbers shown, but they are not a guarantee. Based on our testing, they quite well follow the patterns of the ground measuring stations, but if you light a fire in the city, it will not pick it up as the ground stations will.
How can I find these stations in AirCare?
They are clearly marked with a satellite icon, as well as the network name that states “European Space Agency.”
Can my city be covered by a satellite station?
Yes! Just fill out the form below, and in a few days, we’ll add the station to AirCare!
We are as excited as you about this new development in AirCare’s battle for clean air. Stay tuned for more updates; we are far from done with surprises for this month! So download AirCare now!