Overview of the project

The project Carbosense establishes a uniquely dense CO2 sensor network across Switzerland to provide near-real time information on man-made emissions and CO2 uptake by the biosphere. It is formed by three classes of sensors: (i) seven high-precision laser spectrometers (Picarro G1301/G2302/G2401, CRDS), (ii) 20 temperature stabilized, mains powered NDIR low-cost instruments with active sampling and reference gas supply (SenseAir HPP) and (iii) 250 nodes of battery-powered CO2 low-cost diffusive NDIR sensors (SenseAir LP8). The Carbosense network has a spatial focus on the City of Zurich where more than 50 sensors are deployed. Network operations started in July 2017. The sensor nodes use Swisscom's Low Power Network (LPN) for data transmission.

Real-time data


The project is led by the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) and involves the partners Swisscom, Decentlab and the Swiss Data Science Center (SDSC). External collaborators also contribute to the deployment of the network.

Main contributors


Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology

Laboratory for Air Pollution / Environmental Technology
Role: Project lead, sensor calibration, sensor data processing, atmospheric transport modelling, CO2 simulations



Largest telecommunication company in Switzerland
Role: Network communication (LPN), sensor deployment



SME, sensor integration for environmental monitoring
Role: Sensor node development, raw data management


Swiss Data Science Center (SDSC)

Joint Center of EPF Lausanne and ETH Zurich, data science
Role: Data processing and incubation, visualization

External partners


Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology (MeteoSwiss)

Role: Infrastructure access, support of sensor deployment


Swiss Air Pollution Monitoring Network (NABEL)

Jointly operated by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and Empa
Role: Infrastructure access, support of sensor deployment

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