LPS Air Quality Station


The LPS School Experiment offers high school students (14 to 18 years) the unique opportunity to be part of an European Space Agency (ESA) project and assemble and operate their own air quality (AQ) station.

LPS Air Quality Station

Quick Start Guide

The  Quick Start Guide contains all the information on how to assemble and configure your LPS AQ station and how to make measurements with it.

What is the LPS Air Quality Station?

The LPS Air Quality Station is a small platform based on a Raspberry Pi computer and equipped with a set of sensors that measure different characteristics of the ambient air. On top of that, the station also comes with a GPS receiver for localisation.

The station measures: particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon dioxide (CO2), temperature and humidity. It uses its Raspberry Pi to access the internet (via Wi-Fi) and send data which is then visualised in an online map in real time. Here you can also compare your data to the current measurements of the European Sentinel-5p satellite.

What will you do?

Students building AQ station in ESA lab

If your school is selected for participation, you will receive the AQ station through ESA and will have to connect the different sensors to the Raspberry Pi and set up the station. You will also have to ensure, that the station has Wi-Fi access. For information on how to do that please see the quick start guide.

Once the station is set up and configured, you can go ahead and make some measurements. The station can be set up outside (but protected from rain and direct sunlight) or you can walk around with it to measure different environments. You will have to power the station though. This can be done using the power cable which comes with it or using a power bank (ideal for mobile measurements).

Students with air quality station

The goal is to make use of the different sensors and capabilities of your air quality station to investigate interesting phenomena, learn about air quality and the composition of the ambient air. How about doing measurements along a busy street versus in a park? How does the air quality at your school change throughout the day? Are the sensor readings different on rainy days than on sunny days? Design your own interesting experiments using the air quality station!


What is the ESA 2019 Living Planet Symposium?

The Living Planet Symposium (LPS) is a large international conference, which is held every three years and will take place on 13–17 May 2019 in Milan, Italy. It is organised by ESA with the support of the Italian Space Agency (ASI). The thematic focus is on how Earth Observation contributes to science and society, and how disruptive technologies and actors are changing the traditional Earth Observation landscape, which is also creating new opportunities for public and private sector interactions.

For more information about the ESA 2019 Living Planet Symposium click here.

LPS School Lab

The Living Planet Symposium 2019 will also be the frame for the third edition of the LPS School Lab (13–17 May 2019). This week-long event will include exciting presentations and hands-on experiments on Earth and Space Sciences by international experts in the field and is aimed at high school students. Other than ESA, the Italian space agency ASI, the German centre for aerospace – DLR – the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), the UK Space Agency and the University of Pavia and Polytechnic University of Milan will participate. This means that students will have the unique opportunity to meet scientists and get an insight into the fields of Space and Earth Sciences. To register, click here.


The LPS School Experiment brings together Citizen Science, the Internet of Things and Space Science. Keep in mind however, that your station’s sensors are not calibrated according to scientific standards and should therefore only be used for educational purposes. Furthermore, the gas sensors of the station are sensitive to a large variety of gases, which makes it difficult to estimate the exact contribution of each gas to the measured signal.