Advanced, Aerosol Mass Spectrometer for Aircraft Measurement of Organic Particulate Matter
72904B03-I Aerosol particles have important effects on visibility, acid deposition, climate, and human health; yet large uncertainties remain in quantifying their chemical composition and atmospheric transformations. A significant part of the anthropogenic aerosol is generated from energy-related activities, and organic compounds are known to constitute a significant fraction of ambient aerosol mass; measurements of these compounds suffer from the lack of real-time, size-resolved, quantitative instruments with the size, weight, ruggedness, and time resolution required for operation aboard research aircraft. An innovative aerosol mass spectrometer recently has been designed to provide sized-resolved, quantitative chemical composition data on aerosol particles. This project will upgrade this instrument by incorporating a time-of-flight mass spectrometer that will dramatically improve the detection and characterization of organic compounds, and will enable chemical composition measurements on an individual particle-by-particle basis. Phase I will develop the data analysis software needed to process the very large data stream generated by a time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Specific tasks include writing new software modules, integrating them into existing data acquisition and control software for the aerosol mass spectrometer, and testing them on a laboratory prototype of the time-of-flight mass spectrometer instrument. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: An autonomous, light weight, aerosol mass spectrometer instrument should provide aerosol measurement capabilities for a variety of monitoring applications beyond atmospheric research. These applications include ambient pollution monitoring, chemical and biological warfare agent identification, and explosives/buried-munitions detection for both assessment and enforcement. The instrument also would be ideally suited to characterize and control aerosol emissions from a variety of industrial and energy processes, including semiconductor manufacturing, gas turbines, fluidized bed combustors, diesel combustors and conventional furnaces used for electrical power, thermal energy, and propulsion.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Aerodyne Research, Inc.
45 Manning Road Billerica, MA 01821
Number of Employees: