Articles | Volume 13, issue 11
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-13-6343-2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-13-6343-2020
Research article
 | 
26 Nov 2020
Research article |  | 26 Nov 2020

Assessing the accuracy of low-cost optical particle sensors using a physics-based approach

David H. Hagan and Jesse H. Kroll

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Short summary
Assessing the error of low-cost particulate matter (PM) sensors has been difficult as each empirical study presents unique limitations. Here, we present a new, open-sourced, physics-based model (opcsim) and use it to understand how the properties of different particle sensors alter their accuracy. We offer a summary of likely sources of error for different sensor types, environmental conditions, and particle classes and offer recommendations for the choice of optimal calibrant.