Environment

Hackathon delivers clever ideas for cleaner air

11/05/2018
Photo credit: Heising, FabSpace 2.0 Darmstadt

Acknowledged as essential for healthier living, better air quality in cities is now a priority across Europe. At the BreezeCleanAir4City hackathon, organised on 12-13 January 2018, participants were inspired to come up with new ways of using satellite data to measure and predict air quality.

The challenge was tackled from very different angles, according to co-organisers FabSpace 2.0. One group, named ‘team winter’, focused on developing a method to merge satellite data with in-situ sensor data. Meanwhile, ‘team summer’ opted to work more on the application side, developing an interactive game for walkers/joggers to avoid polluted zones in cities.

“The hackathon was really all about coding, developing and, at the end, presenting a demo,” noted Sascha Heising from FabSpace 2.0. Yet armed with only general geolocation metadata and historic measurements of ozone (O3), particulates (PMx), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and ammonia (NH3) from the test area, the teams managed to deliver much more than rudimentary concepts.

Combining FabSpace’s earth observation lab work and Breeze’s sensor data (see A most promising start-up!), the event received special support from the city of Darmstadt in Germany, and included a visit to EUMETSAT, the international weather- and climate-monitoring centre.

So impressed with the outcome, hackathon hosts Count+Care – an energy, technology and business processes consultancy – decided to double the planned first prize. Two winners were flown to the EU-hosted Eco-innovation for Air Quality Forum in Sofia, Bulgaria on 5-6 February. Meanwhile, all participants in the hackathon were invited to take part in the next FabSpace 2.0 Bootcamp aimed at boosting entrepreneurship.

Further information

FabSpace 2.0 event - https://fabspace-germany.de/index.php/component/eventbooking/fabspace-event/breezecleanair4city?Itemid=256

BreezeCleanAir4City on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/events/472238316484463/

EUMETSAT - https://www.eumetsat.int

Count+Care - http://www.countandcare.de

Eco-innovation for air quality - http://ec.europa.eu/environment/ecoinnovation2018/1st_forum/