Generali & the balloons
A commitment renewed in 2018
Generali has been a Ballon de Paris partner since 2013. Following a successful initial collaboration, the company decided to extend its commitment with a new 5-year partnership.
Beyond its strong visibility above the Parisian sky, the balloon has a dual scientific and educational purpose, with its comprehensive system to measure air quality and raise awareness among the general public about the health effects of pollution.
Innovative scientific instruments
When it was re-inflated on March 21, 2018, the new Ballon de Paris Generali was equipped with new scientific instruments to:
- study the ozone, a major atmospheric pollutant, in real time from the ground and up to 984 feet (300 meters) in the air
- test, together with the CNRS the LIDAR technology (a technique where a laser pulse is emitted and the time between this pulse and detection of the ray reflected by a particular object is measured – in this case, aerosols – which indicates how far away the object is). This technology is installed on the balloon and can be used to create a 3D map of fine particles across the Paris sky.
The public information system for local residents was also improved, with a daytime display of the air quality in Paris using icons (cars for air quality near traffic, and Parisian monuments for the overall air quality). At night, the entire balloon changes color (from green to red) depending on the air quality measured in real time by Airparif.
A previous balloon version in 2010: the Generali Arctic Observer
Generali France’s current partnership with the Ballon de Paris is a continuation of its past initiatives. In 2010, the company sponsored Jean-Louis Etienne during his flight over the Arctic Ocean on board the Generali Arctic Observer. This bold, educational adventure had a twofold objective:
- raise awareness among children about the problems in this part of the world due to global warming;
- collect new data on the Earth’s magnetic field to further develop scientific models.
The educational and scientific ambitions of the project plus the opportunity to work with Jean-Louis Etienne led Generali to become a key partner in the expedition.