Advanced, Aerosol Mass Spectrometer for Aircraft Measurement of Organic Particulate Matter
Small Business Information
45 Manning Road, Billerica, MA, 01821
Abstract72904B03-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.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.