24 July 2015
In the sky of Paris
An air balloon to raise awareness on pollution
Accurately studying air quality in real time 24/7 at an altitude of 150 metres to raise awareness of the theme of pollution among adults and children: this is the goal of the Observatoire Atmosphérique, the Generali hot air balloon that has been flying over Paris since 2013.
Launched in association with AIRPARIF (Air Quality Monitoring Network) and the CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research), the Generali hot air balloon is the first flying urban laboratory. Using an instrument developed by the CNRS, it measures the ultrafine particulate matter present in the air and provides information about it in relation to the altitude.
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While flying over the city, the hot air balloon collects data and sends them to the AIRPARIF processing centre. This data is then presented to the people on board through a series of colourful pictograms that provide a portrait of Paris that continuously changes colour depending on the level of air pollution. Generali Observatoire Atmosphérique is open to the public every day from 9 a.m. to dusk. Aside from paid trips for tourists, it also offers Parisian schoolchildren (around 6,000 a year) the chance to see the capital from on high free of charge and form an understanding of the importance of air quality through interactive panels and information pavilions that reinforce the educational dimension of the initiative.