Project Outline

The quality of the air that we breathe has huge effects on our health, as well as for the health of our atmosphere and ecosystems. The ability to make reliable air quality (AQ) measurements is very important to inform AQ policy, and to make sure that AQ regulations are being met, leading to improvement in both human health and the natural environment. This measurement challenge is often being met by deploying networks of low-cost sensors (LCS). However, these sensors suffer from measurement drift, meaning that they are not useful for long-term measurements. In order to ensure that these networks provide the meaningful data required, the LCSs require in situ calibration. We propose to develop a proof-of-concept field-deployable sensor to meet this need. This portable open-path instrument will demonstrate the capability to perform reliable, drift-free atmospheric measurements over a range of directions, important for calibrating sensors spread over a range of positions. We will also demonstrate the proof-of-concept of multi-species detection, incorporating two lasers and a fast optical switch, allowing the sensor to alternate rapidly between detection of two different species (methane and CO2 in this case), demonstrating the potential for a future sensor to calibrate a range of LCSs.

STFC Capabilities used
Related Scoping Study
Project dates

May 2022 – Apr 2023

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