There is considerable public interest in the measurement of environmental parameters – whether water quality, food ingredients, nitrate and phosphate content in domestic gardens or air quality on people’s doorstep. These kinds of measurements are generally elaborate and/or require sophisticated equipment that is only available in specialist labs. The measurement strips that are commonly available tend to be less precise and not easy to combine with web-based methods. In the project CitizenSensor – Environmental Analytics For All, a Fraunhofer EMFT team is collaborating with citizen scientists to develop innovative and easy-to-use methods to measure environmental parameters. As an introduction to citizen science activities in this high-tech area, the project will pursue a core development for chemical sensorics which is deliberately open in orientation so that it can be extended to include new applications or tasks while the joint work is being carried out.
Another fundamental project objective is to examine the collaboration between citizen science and research organizations and create a new model of cooperation on this basis.