Sense10: Breathe Easy with Hyperlocal Air Quality Monitoring (CycleHack Berlin)

Woman in Black Tank Top and Black Shorts Riding Red Bicycle on Brown Sand

Imagine cycling through your city, but with the ability to see exactly where air quality dips. This is the power of Sense10, a citizen science project created during CycleHack Berlin 2017.

Taking Air Quality Monitoring to the Streets

Sense10 tackles air pollution head-on by equipping cyclists with mobile air quality sensors. By attaching the Airrohr to bicycles, strollers, or backpacks, citizens can become active participants in monitoring air quality data. This hyperlocal approach sheds light on how air pollution impacts individuals in their daily lives.

Unveiling Your Personal Pollution Exposure

Sense10 utilizes the Airrohr sensor from, combined with LoRaWAN technology for efficient data transmission. This innovative duo transmits real-time air quality data, along with the sensor’s location, to a user-friendly map.

Empowering you with knowledge, Sense10 answers the crucial question:

  • How does air pollution affect me on a daily basis?

With this information, cyclists can make informed decisions about their routes, avoiding areas with high pollution levels.

A Collaborative Effort: From Idea to Reality

The Sense10 project is a testament to the power of teamwork. The team, comprised of Hannes, Joscha, Til, Jannis, and Sebastian, adopted a strategic approach, breaking the project into manageable tasks. This ensured everyone could contribute their expertise and keep the momentum going throughout the CycleHack weekend.


Witnessing the Journey: From Brainstorm to Sense10 Prototype

  • Day 1: Pitching the Vision – Sebastian presented the clear and inspiring concept of Sense10, attracting a passionate team to collaborate.
  • Breaking Down the Challenge – The team meticulously divided the project into smaller steps, ensuring each member could focus on specific tasks.
  • Unveiling the Sensor’s Secrets – The initial step involved extracting data from the NovaPM10 sensor, originally designed for Wi-Fi transmission.
  • Double the Data, Double the Insights – A GPS module was integrated to track the sensor’s location, with a blinking blue light signifying a strong connection to at least three GPS satellites.
  • The Power of Collaboration – PM10 sensor data and GPS location data were merged into a single package and transmitted via LoRa protocol to The Things Network (TTN). A special shout-out goes to DB Systel for their invaluable contribution by allowing a connection from the FabLab to the Central Station LoRa Gateway.
  • Visualizing Real-Time Data – By leveraging Mapbox, the team developed a user-friendly map showcasing real-time location and air quality data. Users can even explore historical data using the time slider.
  • Protection with Style – Recognizing the fragile nature of the technical setup, the team designed and laser-cut a protective box. This not only safeguards the system from the elements but also boasts a sleek design, complete with a laser-engraved logo.

Breathe Easy with Sense10

Sense10 demonstrates the potential of citizen science in tackling air pollution. By empowering individuals to become active participants in data collection, Sense10 paves the way for a future where clean air is a reality for all cyclists and citizens alike.

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