The tethered balloon, which is located in the Parc Andre Citroën, in Paris’s 15th arrondissement, uses an innovative lighting system to provide real-time reports on atmospheric pollution.
The balloon displays the quantity of the three most harmful contaminants (nitrogen dioxide, ozone and particles) found in the atmosphere, using an easy-to-understand colour coding – red for highly polluted air, orange for polluted, yellow for moderate, light green for clean and green for very clean.
In Paris, data is collected at several spots throughout the city by sensors set up by Airparif, an organisation monitoring French air quality. The data used complies with the new European Union air-pollution index developed for the CITEAIR project, which is currently used by about 30 large cities.
The balloon displays two measurements of air quality using Airparif’s data. Firstly, the ambient air quality is indicated by the colour of the balloon, using three projectors that are located upon the envelope’s equatorial plane, providing good night-time visibility. Secondly, air quality near major traffic junctions is indicated using a high-power rotating laser beam that sweeps the lower half of the envelope.
The Paris Aérophile balloon is filled with 6,000 cubic metres of helium and is tethered to the ground with a movable cable controlled by a hydroelectric winch. The environmentally friendly design is based on the Archimedes principle, and can lift up to 30 passengers (about 2.5 tonnes), without any noise or shaking, to an altitude of 150 metres above the city.
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Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.
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On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
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What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
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At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
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