Schools Weather and Air Quality (SWAQ) is a citizen science project funded by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science as part of its Inspiring Australia - Citizen Engagement Program. SWAQ is equipping public schools across Sydney with research-grade meteorology and air quality sensors, enabling students to collect and analyse research quality data through curriculum-aligned classroom activities. The network includes twelve automatic weather stations and seven automatic air quality stations, stretched from -33.5995° to -34.0421° latitude and from 150.6913° to 151.2708° longitude. The average spacing is 10.2 km and the average installation height is 2.5 m above ground level. Optimum site allocation was determined by undertaking a multi-criteria weighted overlay analysis to ensure data representativeness and quality. Six meteorological parameters (dry-bulb temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, rain, wind speed, and wind direction) and six air pollutants (SO2, NO2, CO, O3, PM2.5, and PM10) are recorded. Observations and metadata are available from September 2019 for WXT536 + AQT420 stations and from October 2019 for WXT536 stations (refer to Table 1 of the Dataset Guide), thus encompassing the Black Summer bushfire and the COVID-19 lockdown period. Data routinely undergo quality control, quality assurance and publication.
We at TERN acknowledge the Traditional Owners and Custodians throughout Australia, New Zealand and all nations. We honour their profound connections to land, water, biodiversity and culture and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. Inspiring Australia - Citizen Engagement Program
SWAQ data provides urban canopy layer observations of the intra-urban heterogeneity and inter-parameter dependency of all major urban climate and air quality variables, valuable across diverse urban disciplines. SWAQ stations are located where there are gaps in existing government networks, and focus on Sydney’s western suburbs, where the highest urbanization rate is taking place, to better inform future urban planning. Beyond research purposes, SWAQ is a citizen-centered network, conceived to promote valuable STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) skills among citizens and students.
For more information on variable names, formats, quality control and flagging systems, see "Dataset Guide & Glossary.pdf"
All SWAQ sensors are installed: • in homogenous urban regions, without sections of anomalous variation in the regional urban makeup and aspect-ratio, and without large, concentrated heat/pollution sources or sinks; • in areas falling into the WMO Class 4 with no electromagnetic sources that could have distorted the transmission; • at a constant height of 2 - 3.5 m above ground level. Quality control includes continuity tests, fixed range tests (on both physical and instrumental limits), dynamic range and step tests (both performed on a monthly basis), internal consistency tests (on known atmospheric relations) and persistence tests. Data failing any of the above tests are flagged as described in the Supplemental Information. Two quality-controlled datasets are available: “YYYY-MM-DD_Raw.csv” where flags supplement but do not alter the original data and “YYYY-MM-DD_Cleaned.csv” that contains a ready-to-use cleaned dataset, as recommended by the SWAQ team.
Quality Assurance: Annual maintenance log
Quality Control: continuity tests, fixed range tests (on both physical and instrumental limits), dynamic range and step tests (both performed on a monthly basis), internal consistency tests (on known atmospheric relations) and persistence tests.