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Development of an Autonomous Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor with Integrated Calibration and Quality Assurance Capability.
Phone: (978) 663-9500
Phone: (978) 932-0214
Statement of the Problem: Ambient aerosol particles play a significant role in adversely affecting human health, in altering the chemistry and the radiative balance of the Earth’s atmosphere, and in reducing visibility. However, there are significant uncertainties in the sources and chemical transformations of particulate matter and how they relate to climate forcing. Organic aerosol is a key component, often accounting for half or more of the total mass, and is thought to play an important role in the climate effects of particulate matter. The characterization of sources and fates of organic aerosol in the atmosphere is crucial to our understanding of the relationship between anthropogenic activity and global climate. How is this problem being addressed? Over the past fifteen years, aerosol mass spectrometers and, more recently, aerosol chemical speciation monitors, which measure the chemical composition of non-refractory particulate matter, have become important tools for understanding the sources, sinks, and atmospheric chemistry of ambient particulate matter. This project will build on these advances by developing a robust and autonomous instrument for chemical composition measurements, including organic and inorganic components, enabling wide-spread, long-term measurements to inform our understanding of the atmosphere. Phase I Project: Specific Phase I tasks include developing an automated calibration system and developing automated quality assurance/quality control software for the aerosol chemical speciation monitor. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: We expect that the instrument developed in this program will yield a significant level of direct commercial sales and contract field measurements. The initial market for this instrument will be atmospheric research groups at universities and national laboratories with research programs focusing on atmospheric chemistry. Local and national environmental monitoring programs constitute a potentially much larger market.
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