Project Eclipse planetary computer data and graphs

Project Eclipse

Hyperlocal environmental sensing platform for cities

Effective March 31, 2023, Microsoft Project Eclipse research will be concluded, and the API will be shut down.  At this time, historical data will still be available via the Microsoft Planetary Computer (opens in new tab) pursuant to the Terms of Use for Microsoft Project Eclipse API.

Hyperlocal environmental sensing

Pollution is something most residents of cities experience regularly, but few cities have the tools to track pollution in real time or at the neighborhood scale.  With Project Eclipse, Urban Innovation presents a full stack – fromsensors to analytics-sensing platform for cities. The goal is a radical increase (10x – 100x) in the geographic and temporal granularity of environmental sensing in cities in support of a variety of public health scenarios, starting with air quality.

Urban Innovation: detail of the Eclipse sensor

Custom hardware: Air Quality (Pro II)

Eclipse solar powered sensors are custom designed, from the electrical engineering, firmware to the enclosure, and calibrated in our hardware lab at Microsoft Research in Redmond. The air quality sensors measure CO, NO2, SO2, and O3, as well as PM 1, PM 2.5, and PM 10, along with temperature, humidity and pressure. Data is uploaded using cellular LTE-M technology directly to an Azure data stack. The devices take sensor readings at 60-second and 15-minute intervals, powered by solar the devices run perpetually.

Analytics & experiences

The Urban Innovation team has developed a real-time calibration solution as well as custom R analytics, Power BI, and web visualizations to help users monitor and get insight from the Eclipse Platform. This research is used to drive experiences for diverse stakeholders including policymakers, community and other scientists, and residents. To ensure impact, the data and analytics must convey meaning and be used by various end user constituent groups. Raw data APIs and bundles of data files cannot drive change; significant research in user experience and policy, planning, and behavioral change is needed to inform end user experiences for residents and for decision makers. As part of the Eclipse project, we are partnering with city governments and collaborating with community groups to understand needs and build data experiences that make urban environmental data digestible and relevant to decision making processes.

Eclipse Ecosystem
Chicago deployment

Deployment: Chicago 2021

Urban Innovation partnered with JCDecaux, Environmental Law and Policy Center, and Array of Things and deployed over 100 low-cost air pollution sensors across the city of Chicago in one of the densest real-time air quality monitoring networks deployed in a North American city. The team prioritized two goals with respect to the locations of the sensors: (1) citywide coverage and (2) equitable coverage with oversampling in environmental justice neighborhoods.