Results of the AIRLAB Microsensors Challenge 2021

Results of the AIRLAB Microsensors Challenge 2021: new technologies to measure air quality

Airparif and AIRLAB unveiled the winners of the AIRLAB Microsensors Challenge 2021 on 13 October 2021 during an international workshop on air quality microsensors. 

All the results per sensor are freely available on the AIRLAB website via a newly created interactive platform. It offers a navigation among the results of the Challenge, allowing searches by criteria and comparisons between the different solutions.

These evaluations are available in French and in English. A new edition of the Challenge is planned for 2023

The AIRLAB International Microsensors Challenge aims to regularly assess the progress in efficiency and reliability of these new air quality measurement technologies. It is also an opportunity to enlighten potential users on the adequacy between the individual performance of the sensors and the advantages put forward by the manufacturers: ease of use by everyone, simplified information, affordable cost.

The results of this new Challenge show a clear improvement in the quality of the microsensors participating in the competition and in their ability to share their measurement data. As in the previous Challenge, the micosensors examined stood out in particular for measuring indoor quality. Progress is noted in outdoor air and mobility. The Challenge awarded prizes to microsensors for measuring outdoor air, whose performance has improved significantly (winners “Outdoor Air”: Ethera NEMO Extérieur – France and Magnasci SMOGGIE – Romania) and for the individual wearable microsensors aimed at raising awareness (winner “Citizen Air”: Magnasci uRADMonitor AIR – Romania).

On the other hand, the microsensors used to carry out mobile measurements on vehicles or individuals in order to finely characterise individual exposure still do not provide sufficiently accurate measurement, due in particular to excessive sensitivity to changes in the environment, humidity and temperature, so the jury was unable to choose a winner. The do-it-yourself devices were among the new solutions tested in this 3rd edition of the Challenge. However, they did not receive a prize mainly because of problems with the formatting and acquisition of data and variable assembly quality, making it difficult to evaluate them.

Each microsensor examined measured on or more different pollutants. In general, the measurement of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) showed a high level of performance. The measurement of the particulate matters (PM10 and PM2.5) is highly dependent on the environment. The measurement of fine particulate matter PM2.5 was always more accurate than PM10. The measurement of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pollutants specific to indoor air, was disappointing overall. The measurement of carbon dioxide (CO2), in indoor air allowing the evaluation of room ventilation (and thus facilitating the implementation of ventilation measures and the fight against the spread of the coronavirus) has shown a high level of accuracy. The measurement of ozone (O3), air pollutant responsible for pollution peaks in summer, is also progressing.

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Published on 2021-10-20

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