Introduction iSPEX

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iSPEX is an innovative way to measure aerosols. Click an add-on on your iPhone to change this everyday tool into a scientific instrument. This instrument measures properties of small particles in the sky: aerosols.

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; we primarily do so, because we expect that this method can yield more information about aerosols 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 turn out to have an enormous impact on our lifes, without us always knowing it. 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. What may become clear, is beside the many things we know about them, there is much unknown about aerosols!

It is these unknowns that we want to clear up with iSPEX. We hope to do this by asking the public to participate in aerosol research, and by doing so, putting aerosols on the map for scientists to continue their research on. We truly hope you are willing to help us with this.