Stationary and portable multipollutant monitors for high-spatiotemporal-resolution air quality studies including online calibration

Colby Buehler, Fulizi Xiong, Misti Levy Zamora, Kate M. Skog, Joseph Kohrman-Glaser, Stefan Colton, Michael McNamara, Kevin Ryan, Carrie Redlich, Matthew Bartos, Brandon Wong, Branko Kerkez, Kirsten Koehler, Drew R. Gentner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The distribution and dynamics of atmospheric pollutants are spatiotemporally heterogeneous due to variability in emissions, transport, chemistry, and deposition. To understand these processes at high spatiotemporal resolution and their implications for air quality and personal exposure, we present custom, low-cost air quality monitors that measure concentrations of contaminants relevant to human health and climate, including gases (e.g., O3, NO, NO2, CO, CO2, CH4, and SO2) and size-resolved (0.3 10 m) particulate matter. The devices transmit sensor data and location via cellular communications and are capable of providing concentration data down to second-level temporal resolution. We produce two models: one designed for stationary (or mobile platform) operation and a wearable, portable model for directly measuring personal exposure in the breathing zone. To address persistent problems with sensor drift and environmental sensitivities (e.g., relative humidity and temperature), we present the first online calibration system designed specifically for low-cost air quality sensors to calibrate zero and span concentrations at hourly to weekly intervals. Monitors are tested and validated in a number of environments across multiple outdoor and indoor sites in New Haven, CT; Baltimore, MD; and New York City. The evaluated pollutants (O3, NO2, NO, CO, CO2, and PM2:5) performed well against reference instrumentation (e.g., r D 0:66 0.98) in urban field evaluations with fast e-folding response times (1 min), making them suitable for both large-scale network deployments and smaller-scale targeted experiments at a wide range of temporal resolutions.We also provide a discussion of best practices on monitor design, construction, systematic testing, and deployment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)995-1013
Number of pages19
JournalAtmospheric Measurement Techniques
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 9 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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