About the platform
Airly sensors are small devices that measure the level of outdoor air pollution. In real time, the sensors read a series of air parameters (PM1, PM2.5, PM10, temperature, pressure and humidity) in a particular location. Research confirms the quality and reliability of the data collected by Airly’s sensors, as well as the fact that weather conditions (e.g. humidity) do not affect the measurements.
State Environmental Monitoring stations
As well as the Airly sensors, the platform also includes visualized data coming from the State Environmental Monitoring stations. This information is automatically updated every hour. The stations gather data on air pollution and send it to the Environmental Protection Inspectorates. These then deal with the processing and sharing of the information online. Use of different measurement methods, along with the time needed for data processing on the EPI servers, can mean data from this source gets delayed for up to 1.5 hours.
Heatmap and platform color scheme
A dense network of sensors within an increasing number of cities means we can interpolate the results from those sensors. With the help of algorithms and artificial intelligence techniques, we can estimate the air quality between sensors with very high accuracy. This we call ‘interpolated measurement’ and it results in a colored ‘heatmap’. The color intensity of the heatmap (that is, the area around each sensor) indicates the certainty with which we estimate the measurements in a given place.
The points on our map represent the location of the sensors, and their color mirrors the quality of air: from the best (green), above the permissible standard (orange) to health-threatening standards repeatedly exceeded (red).
Air pollution forecast
Our air quality forecast is the first in Poland featuring neural network powered predictions!
To help forecast pollution, we use weather data drawn from the DarkSky portal.
According to our calculations, the accuracy of our air quality forecast is over 95%. This means that when forecasting air quality, in 95 cases out of 100, the absolute error of our prediction (relative to later-measured values) is not higher than 25 on the CAQI scale, i.e. one level. In other words, when our model predicts very good air, there is a 95% chance it will be so. Similarly, when our forecast predicts a very high level of pollution, almost certainly smog awaits us — put on your masks and preferably do not leave the house! In the remaining 5% of cases, our model may be wrong, but usually, it is off by only 1 CAQI level. For example, we may predict very good air, but in reality, it will be "just" good. However, the difference between the expected and actual air quality is rarely big enough to make the forecast completely inaccurate. In our opinion, this proves the high effectiveness of our predictive model. We monitor the accuracy of our forecast on an ongoing basis and provide this information in our applications.
The accuracy value is calculated for each Airly station, based on measurement data and forecasts collected from the last 14 days. The percentage factor is visible in the side panel after selecting the measuring station on the map. It is right next to the air quality forecast graph.
The air quality sensors read in real time a series of parameters: PM1, PM2.5, PM10, temperature, pressure and humidity on the subject of the current state of air in the location where they are located.
Our sensors are placed in such locations to best reflect air quality in a given area. As a result, some of them are focused on solar radiation, which affects temperature readings from the sensor. Thanks to special algorithms, we are able to level the Sun's influence and show the real temperature.
The value given is the pressure above the sea level, calculated from the values given by the sensor, taking into account the height at which it was mounted.
The CAQI scale - what do the colors on the platform show?
In European cities, a simpler presentation of air quality data is accomplished using various different indices, each converting their measurements into one easily understood number. In our monitoring system, we use the hourly index, which describes the current air quality based on the average of all measurements from the last hour. The platform updates its data on average every 3 minutes, so the measurements shown are the rolling average of the last full hour.
The air quality index used in Europe, CAQI, has five ranges, with the values presented on a scale from 0 (very low) to >100 (very high). It is a relative measure of the amount of air pollution.
In Airly, when providing the CAQI index, we consider PM10 and PM2.5 dust.
To show the differences in air pollution, a colored 7-level scale (Airly CAQI) operates on our platform. This starts with green, which indicates very good quality air. The scale graduates all the way through to maroon, which shows the air pollution standards are being repeatedly exceeded and it would be wise to stay indoors!
Standards for fine dust
For fine particulates such as PM10 and PM2.5, the European Union has only established an acceptable level. These are: for PM10 - 50 μg/m3 (daily) and 40 μg/m3 (annual average), and for PM2.5 - 25 μg/m3 (annual average).
The norms of acceptable daily concentrations established by the World Health Organization are 45 μg/m3 for PM10. and 15 μg/m3 for PM2.5.
About air pollution
What is smog?
Air pollution (smog) is the presence of harmful substances in the Earth's atmosphere that can have a negative impact on human health and other living organisms, as well as on the entire natural environment. The word smog has its roots in two English words: smoke and fog. Inhaling contaminated air can contribute to the development of allergies, diseases and general deterioration of the way our body functions.
Where does smog come from?
Two types of smog are recognized: London and Los Angeles types. London smog usually occurs during the winter season when indoor heating is used (from the turn of October to March). This type of smog results from a concentration of sulfur oxides (IV), nitrogen oxides, carbon oxides, soot and slowly falling dust. When accompanied by a specific atmospheric phenomenon, known as temperature inversion, the combination of pollutants leads to very poor air quality. Although typically temperatures go down when altitude increases, with inversion, air temperatures actually rise as well. The second known type of smog is known as Los Angeles smog, which is also called photochemical smog. It occurs mainly in the summer months, in subtropical regions. Los Angeles smog consists mainly of gases: carbon oxides, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons.
What are the effects of smog
Prolonged exposure to contaminated air leads to the following changes in the human body:
- Changes in the respiratory system such as problems with the lungs, breathing difficulties, wheezing, bronchitis, coughing, asthma attacks, and so on
- Problems with the blood’s absorption of oxygen, which can cause diseases of the circulatory and the central nervous systems
- Lower immunity to various types of infection (the human immune system can be seriously weakened)
- Damage to internal organs as the kidneys, liver, adrenal glands - and also our bones
- Fertility problems
- The accumulation of contaminants in the body can cause neoplastic changes, including various types of cancer.
What can I do to improve air quality?
- Educate your family and neighbors about air pollution problems!
- Do not use coal and fuels of poor quality!
- Use public transportation instead of driving your car!
- Monitor the air quality with the Airly system!
It's hard to fight a problem that you cannot see. Our goal is to build a dense network of sensors throughout the World. This will allow for the exact identification of pollution sources and increase air pollution awareness amongst the inhabitants of our country.
We are a Polish company that has been operating on the domestic market for a year now. Our goal is to raise people’s awareness about the quality of the air they breathe. We formed Airly just under two years ago and, in this time, we’ve created collaborations with some of the largest companies in our country and built Poland’s densest air quality monitoring network.
Intelligent Air Quality Monitoring System
The entire system includes a network of air quality sensors, a web platform, Android and iOS applications, data and the capability to forecast air pollution.
What can I do to make the sensor network appear in my town?
Our goal is to create a dense network of air quality sensors, which will allow us to closely examine the smog problem.
To make this happen more quickly we’ve implemented the Ambassador Airly program. Anyone who convinces their local authority to purchase our system (including more than 10 sensors), will be given a free sensor device of their own, for a period of 12 months.
Create a network in your town and become our Ambassador. Build the best system for monitoring air quality in our country with us!