Experimental approach to correcting counting errors in the aerodynamic particle sizer (APS Model 3310)

Avula Sreenath, Gurumurthy Ramachandran, James H. Vincent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper describes the different ways of analyzing the output of a real-time device for measuring and counting airborne particles, the aerodynamic particle sizer (APS). This instrument is very widely used in aerosol research throughout the world. It is a time-of-flight instrument in which a particle's measured transit time in the changing flow in a jet passing between two laser beams is converted to its aerodynamic diameter. As the particle passes between the two laser beams, two signal processors, the small particle processor (SPP) and the large particle processor (LPP), independently provide measures of the particle's transit time from the light pulses that are produced. This information is related to the aerodynamic particle diameter of the particle (dae) by means of calibration against `unit' density (1000 kg/m3) spheres. If more than one particle is involved in the analysis of particle transit time, then it gives rise to coincidence effects, resulting in `phantom' particle generation. The SPP is known to generate phantom counts, while the LPP is known to reduce phantom counts. A new method is described in this paper that gives guidance on how to deal with such coincidence problems. The principle is that it relies on additional information to obtain `correction factors'. In this case, well-established theory for the aspiration efficiencies of thin-walled aerosol sampling probes has been used along with corresponding experimental data obtained in a wind tunnel using the APS. Results using this method are compared with various other methods that have been tried in the past. The paper provides insights on to how the user can operate the APS to avoid counting errors like those described, and the advantages and limitations of different correction methods are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-265
Number of pages9
JournalParticle and Particle Systems Characterization
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental approach to correcting counting errors in the aerodynamic particle sizer (APS Model 3310)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this