iSPEX is a scientific project that aims to measure the atmospheric aerosols. Spectropolarimeter for Planetary EXploration (SPEX), ISPEX has been created and manufactured by the University of Leiden.
Aerosols are having a huge impact on our lives, without us being aware. These small particles, that affect our health, are the major cause of that aircraft cannot take off when volcanic ash (so far invisible)is in the atmosphere, or even make the great unknown in our knowledge about climate change. Although we know a lot about them, there is much more to learn from aerosols and their effects on the environment.
Therefore, the objective of the ISPEX project is to measure the density of fine powder or dust particles, the size distribution, and a rough indication of the chemical composition of the particles based on the determination of the complex refractive index. The last values are important for health studies concerning fine particles. The results of the measurements ISPEX not provide measures that can be applied by official or legal regulations.
Keep in mind that ISPEX only works properly with a blue, cloudless sky. ISPEX is space technology compressed into a device attached to a smartphone, this seeks to obtain data from satellites where other scientific instruments have little or zero scope. By simply adding the add-on to an iPhone, you can use this device as a scientific instrument everyday in order to measure the amount and type of these small particles suspended in the air.
As part of the project LIGHT 2015, this initiative is being coordinated by the ICFO - Institute of Photonic Sciences, with the participation and collaboration of BCNLab (through the Office of Citizen Science) and CREAL - Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology. These institutions help to promote the event and participate and co-coordinate some of the observation points in taking scientific data.