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Automatic pollen measurement network

MeteoSwiss operates the national pollen measurement network. Over the next two years, the new automatic network will be rolled out: for the first time in the world instead of daily averages being available after a week, the data will in future be available in real time at an hourly resolution.

The expected benefits of an automatic network

Enlargement: An airflow cytometer in its housing.
The automatic pollen measuring system Swisens Poleno from Payerne.

The data from the automatic stations will improve the pollen forecasts and the quality of information available to allergy sufferers, medical practitioners, and for research. In particular, more accurate measurements available in real time are vital for more detailed and reliable forecasts. The integration of real time pollen data into the COSMO-1 weather forecasting model will be a key step in improving information available to the public. Allergy sufferers will thus be able to take preventive measures or treatments recommended by their doctor in a more timely way to avoid or reduce symptoms.

How do the automatic pollen measurements work?

The principle of operation: ambient air and the particles it contains are sucked into the measurement system. Because of their size, the pollen grains are concentrated and drawn into the measuring chamber where the particles are measured in flight using holographic techniques. Analysis of the measurement data by an artificial intelligence system provides the different information about the types of pollen and their concentrations in the ambient air.

Thanks to these recent technological developments, which make possible the counting and identification of a large number of particles very quickly, it is possible to highlight the rapid variations in pollen concentrations. Identification of the various particle types is also further being developed: in addition to the measurement of the main allergens, other aerosols will soon be able to be monitored, such as fungal spores responsible for allergies or crop diseases. This progress will enable us to strengthen partnerships in the fields of air quality and health impacts.

Presentation of hourly data during the pilot phase

On the page, hourly data are presented for the main allergenic pollen types and the relevant measurement sites. Note that the daily data are taken from the manual reference systems.

Pilot phase - Disclaimer

The development of the automatic pollen measuring network is underway and the first stations are already operational as part of the pilot phase. Simultaneously, MeteoSwiss is developing its services using the data generated by these new measurement systems. The first new services will be introduced in future.

MeteoSwiss aims to use the currently available pollen measurements to communicate the first real-time measurement results during this pilot phase. In addition to providing information about the progress of the project "Development of an automatic pollen measurement network", the goal is to use the data presented to obtain important information for the development of corresponding services. For example, we will test whether the presentation of all content is understood and is beneficial to end users, or which important needs are not yet covered. In this pilot phase, which serves as a test environment for the development of related services, we would like to encourage a constant exchange, in particular with allergy sufferers.

The presentation of measurement data during this pilot phase is made without any guarantee and makes no claim as to completeness, accuracy, timeliness, availability, or continuity. Furthermore, no claims can be made regarding the extension or dissemination of these data, or for the future provision of services in this form after the conclusion of the pilot phase.

Further information