Results of the 2021 AIRLAB Micro-sensors challenge

On October 13, 2021, Airparif and AIRLAB unveiled the winners of the 2021 AIRLAB micro-sensor Challenge.

Published 13 / 10 / 2021

  • Knowledge improvement
Ⓒ Airparif

New technologies to measure air quality 

Airparif and AIRLAB announced on October 13, 2021 the winners of the 2021 AIRLAB micro-sensor Challenge during an international workshop on micro-sensors measuring air quality. 

All of the results per sensor are made freely available on the AIRLAB site via an interactive platform so that each potential micro-sensor user can clarify their choice according to the expected use of these technologies.

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

The AIRLAB International Micro-sensor Challenge aims to regularly assess progress in terms of the efficiency and reliability of these new technologies for measuring air quality. It is also an opportunity to enlighten potential users on the adequacy between the individual performances 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 marked improvement in the quality of the micro-sensors participating in the competition and their ability to share their measurement data. As in the previous Challenge, the micro-sensors examined have particularly distinguished themselves in terms of measuring indoor air quality. Progress is noted in outdoor air and mobility. For the first time, the Challenge awarded prizes for outdoor air measurement micro-sensors, the performance of which showed significant improvements ("Outdoor Air" winners: Ethera NEMO Exterior - France and Magnasci SMOGGIE - Romania) and for micro -portable individual sensors aimed at raising awareness (“Air Citoyen” winner: Magnasci uRADMonitor AIR - Romania). 

On the other hand, the micro-sensors used to carry out measurements in mobility on vehicles or individuals to finely characterize individual exposure, still not presenting sufficient accuracy of measurement, due in particular to excessive sensitivity to changes in environment, the variation in humidity and temperature, the jury was unable to choose a winner. Do-it-yourself kit sensors were among the new solutions tested during this 3rd edition of the Challenge. They did not, however, receive an award either, mainly due to formatting and data acquisition issues and variable assembly quality making it difficult to assess them.

Each micro-sensor examined measured one or more different pollutants: overall, the measurement of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) presented a high level of performance. Particle measurement (PM10 and PM2.5) depends a lot on the environment. The measurement of fine particles (PM2.5) has proven to be always more accurate than that of particles (PM10). The measurement of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pollutants specific to indoor air, proved disappointing overall. The measurement of carbon dioxide (CO2), in indoor air allowing the ventilation of rooms to be assessed (and thus facilitating the implementation of ventilation measures and the fight against the spread of the coronavirus) has shown a high level of precision. The measurement of ozone (O3), the air pollutant responsible for pollution peaks in summer, is also on the rise.

The laureats

With the support of :
Atmo France, Federal Materials Testing and Research Laboratory (EMPA) FIMEA, Indoor Air Quality Observatory, Lab'Aireka, Incub'Air, Scientific and Technical Building Center, TransfAIR, European Union, Meteorological Organization Worldwide, Airparif, French Development Agency, ADEME, EDF, DIM QI2, Atmo Hauts-de-France, Atmo Normandie, Atmo Grand Est, Atmo Sud, Atmo Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Qualitair Corse.