Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Next-generation device developed to track world's air quality

Date:
March 30, 2011
Source:
University of Nevada, Reno
Summary:
A new air-quality measuring instrument that is more economical, more portable and more accurate than older technologies has just been developed.

Physics professor Pat Arnott of the University of Nevada, Reno explains the new technology for photoacoustic air particle monitoring recently licensed by the University to Droplet Measurement Technologies. The device is used to measure air quality, including black carbon, in a number of applications.
Credit: Photo by Mike Wolterbeek, University of Nevada, Reno.

A new air-quality measuring instrument invented by Pat Arnott and Ian Arnold of the University of Nevada, Reno that is more economical, more portable and more accurate than older technologies has been licensed for commercial development by Droplet Measurement Technologies of Boulder, Colo.

Related Articles


Arnott, a physics professor in the University's College of Science, had perhaps lugged his heavy pieces of equipment one too many times through airports to faraway places to examine airborne particles. Now, his and Arnold's latest invention has reduced the laser-equipped air-monitoring equipment to suitcase size, while enhancing its measurement capabilities.

This latest, compact version of the photoacoustic particle measuring machine with its lasers, mirrors, flexible tubes, wires and relays is also cheaper and faster and should be an attractive alternative for users.

"This machine will be much more ubiquitous for measuring air quality, or more precisely, black carbon in the air, or a number of other uses," Arnott said. "Key component cost and instrument weight have dropped from $2,000 and 180 pounds to $40 and 20 pounds. This will make it more accessible to researchers, businesses and government agencies; and much easier when traveling around the world to gather data."

Over the past 12 years, Arnott, along with collaborators from the Desert Research Institute, have mapped air pollution on Los Angeles freeways, as well as in Mexico City, the rain forests of Brazil, Vancouver, B.C., and Big Bend National Park, to name a few locations. They have also worked 1,600 feet underground in an active Nevada gold mine to monitor air quality.

Arnott's invention is an improvement on earlier technology he developed with partners. Arnott, John Walker and Hans Moosmόller, all at the time with DRI, commercialized the first version of the instrument with Droplet Measurement Technologies in 2005.

The University of Nevada, Reno's Tech Transfer Office, worked out the deal with DMT to commercialize the technology.

"The new device is a smaller, less expensive photoacoustic instrument for measuring airborne particles related to air quality that makes it affordable for a broader range of uses and it promises to lead to much wider market adoption of photoacoustic technology," said Ryan Heck, director of the University's Tech Transfer Office. "Pat and DMT have worked together for years, and we were pleased to help facilitate a new product based on their collaboration."

Arnott and DMT have already built beta-versions of the device that are in use by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley Labs and the Bay Area Air Quality District, at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Europe and in locations in Mexico City. Droplet is working to produce many more that will be a fraction of the cost to users.

"We're pleased to have entered into the licensing agreement," John Lovett, CEO of Droplet said. "Pat is a leading scientist in applying photo-acoustic technology to aerosols and has partnered with DMT on developing research-grade scientific instruments for air quality assessment.

"Our new instrument, the Photoacoustic Extinctiometer -- PAX, is a next generation monitoring tool to help scientists and air quality engineers accurately assess the optical properties of aerosols that are relevant for climate change and visibility. By measuring the aerosol in its natural state (photoacoustically), without requiring filter collection, the PAX improves measurement accuracy over older competing technologies."

Arnott and Arnold, an undergraduate student in Physics at the University when he assisted Arnott with instrument development, are also working on developing a truly miniature device that may find use as an on-board sensor for real-time black carbon air pollution emission control.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Nevada, Reno. The original article was written by Mike Wolterbeek. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Nevada, Reno. "Next-generation device developed to track world's air quality." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110329151452.htm>.
University of Nevada, Reno. (2011, March 30). Next-generation device developed to track world's air quality. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110329151452.htm
University of Nevada, Reno. "Next-generation device developed to track world's air quality." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110329151452.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) — A string of black bear attacks has Florida officials considering lifting the ban on hunting the animals to control their population. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dramatic Footage Shows Coast Guard Rescue Off Scottish Coast

Dramatic Footage Shows Coast Guard Rescue Off Scottish Coast

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — Footage just released by the UK Coast Guard shows a dramatic helicopter rescue off the Scottish coast, where five men were plucked to safety after their fishing boat sank on Saturday. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stunning Wingsuit Proximity Flying in Norway

Stunning Wingsuit Proximity Flying in Norway

Rumble (Jan. 23, 2015) — A collection of amazing shots from flights made in the Aurland Valley in Norway. How incredible is that? Credit to &apos;BASEjumper&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Senate Agrees Climate Change Is Happening, Just Not On Why

Senate Agrees Climate Change Is Happening, Just Not On Why

Newsy (Jan. 22, 2015) — The Senate voted to confirm climate change is real, but some still weren&apos;t on board with the idea that humans are causing it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins