iSPEX 1 Background

iSPEX is an innovative way to measure aerosols and water properties. Click an add-on on your smartphone to change this everyday tool into a scientific instrument. This instrument measures properties of sky (aerosols) and water (colour, composition)
The idea is based on that of the Spectropolarimeter for Planetary EXploration (SPEX), although adjusted to allow as many people as possible to use the instrument. We don’t just involve the large public in this project because we find it important that people ought to know more about atmospheric aerosols or water; we primarily do so, because we expect that this method can yield more information than currently available. In other words, we really want our participants to do science!

Why wouldn’t we want everybody involved in this project. After all, it is about a topic which concerns us all. Aerosols and water quality turn out to have an enormous impact on our lives, without us always knowing it. For example: small particles affect our health, aeroplanes cannot take off when there is (until now invisible) volcanic ash in the atmosphere, and aerosols form the large unknown in our knowledge of climate change.