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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-217
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-217
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  07 Aug 2020

07 Aug 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Stationary and Portable Multipollutant Monitors for High Spatiotemporal Resolution Air Quality Studies including Online Calibration

Colby Buehler1,2, Fulizi Xiong1,2, Misti Levy Zamora2,3, Kate M. Skog1, Joseph Kohrman-Glaser4, Stephan Colton4, Michael McNamara5, Kevin Ryan5, Carrie Redlich6,7, Matthew Bartos8, Brandon Wong8, Branko Kerkez8, Kirsten Koehler2,3, and Drew R. Gentner1,2,9 Colby Buehler et al.
  • 1Department of Chemical & Environmental Engineering, Yale University, School of Engineering and Applied Science, New Haven, Connecticut 06511, USA
  • 2SEARCH (Solutions for Energy, Air, Climate and Health) Center, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA
  • 3Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, 21205, USA
  • 4Department of Mechanical Engineering, Yale University, School of Engineering and Applied Science, New Haven, Connecticut, 06511, USA
  • 5Department of Electrical Engineering, Yale University, School of Engineering and Applied Science, New Haven, Connecticut, 06511, USA
  • 6Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University, School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, 06510, USA
  • 7Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Yale University, School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut, 06511, USA
  • 8Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan, 2350 Hayward St, G.G. Brown Building, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
  • 9Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz 55128, Germany

Abstract. The distribution and dynamics of atmospheric pollutants are spatiotemporally heterogeneous due to variability in emissions, transport, chemistry, and deposition. To understand these processes at high spatiotemporal resolution and their implications for air quality and personal exposure, we present custom, low-cost air quality monitors that measure concentrations of contaminants relevant to human health and climate, including gases (e.g. O3, NO, NO2, CO, CO2, CH4, and SO2) and size-resolved (0.3–10 µm) particulate matter. The devices transmit sensor data and location via cellular communications, and are capable of providing concentration data down to second-level temporal resolution. We produce two models; one designed for stationary (or mobile platform) operation, and a wearable, portable model for directly measuring personal exposure in the breathing zone. To address persistent problems with sensor drift and environmental sensitivities (e.g. relative humidity and temperature), we present the first online calibration system designed specifically for low-cost air quality sensors to calibrate zero and span concentrations at hourly to weekly intervals. Monitors are tested and validated in a number of environments across multiple outdoor and indoor sites in New Haven, CT, Baltimore, MD, and New York City. The evaluated pollutants (O3, NO2, NO, CO, CO2, and PM2.5) performed well against reference instrumentation (e.g. r = 0.66–0.98) in urban field evaluations with fast e-folding response times (≤ 1 min), making them suitable for both large-scale network deployments and smaller-scale targeted experiments at a wide range of temporal resolutions. We also provide a discussion of best practices on monitor design, construction, systematic testing, and deployment.

Colby Buehler et al.

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Short summary
In this paper we produce low cost air quality monitors to better understand air pollution in complex urban environments. We are able to monitor air pollutants that are important for human health and for climate purposes at a much finer scale than traditional methods. Thus we can deploy many of these monitors in a network to understand how urban environments vary both across space and time.
In this paper we produce low cost air quality monitors to better understand air pollution in...
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