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Continuous Ambient Air Monitoring Instruments

Physical characteristics

TSI 3091 Fast Mobility Particle Spectrometer (FMPS)


The FMPS is capable of producing real-time particle size distribution measurements with one-second time resolution. The instrument discriminates between 5.6 – 560 nm particle sizes to provide particle number concentration and can categorize this value into one of 32 size bins. This particle size measurement is based on differential electrical mobility classification. The particle number concentration is determined by measuring the electrical current collected on a series of electrodes.

Manufacturer: TSI Inc.

Location(s): WB facility (Field Measurement). MAPLE

TSI 3090 Engine Exhaust Particle Sizer (EEPS)



The Engine Exhaust Particle Sizer (EEPS) spectrometer measures the size distribution of engine-exhaust particle emissions in the range from 5.6 to 560 nm at 10 samples per second. The instrument can capture the dynamic behavior of particle emissions that occur at the various conditions. The EEPS and FMPS instruments operate on a similar principle.

Manufacturer: TSI Inc.

Location: WB facility (Field Measurement). MAPLE

TSI Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS)


The SMPS measures aerosol concentration as a function of particle size using bipolar charge distribution and differential mobility analysis methods. This fast-scanning instrument allows for measurements to be taken at a 60-second time resolution. The SMPS Model 3080 also provides the option to vary the differential mobility analyzer (DMA) depending on target size measurements. A long DMA (model 3081) can be used to measure particles of a broad range from 10 to 1000 nm, or alternatively, a nano DMA (model 3085) can be used to more precisely classify particles from 2 to150 nm.

Manufacturer: TSI Inc.

Location: WB facility (Field Measurement). MAPLE
  • TSI 3081, 3085 DMA
  • TSI 3786 water based Condensation Particle Counter (CPC)
TSI 3321 Aerodynamic Particle Spectrometer (APS)


The Aerodynamic Particle Sizer Spectrometer provides high-resolution, real-time measurements of aerosols ranging in size from 0.5 to 20 µm. The instrument relies on time-of-flight measurements, which account for variations in aerosol shape, and are unaffected by the index of refraction or Mie scattering. The Aerodynamic Particle Sizer Spectrometer also simultaneously measures the light-scattering of aerosols, which can be utilized when studying aerosol composition.

Manufacturer: TSI Inc.

Location: WB Facility (Field Measurement)

Image Available: Yes



The Series 8500 Filter Dynamics Measurement System (FDMS) incorporates the 1400 Tapered Element Oscillating Microbalance (TEOM) to measure PM2.5 mass concentrations continuously. The instrument calculates the mass concentration based on the slope of the frequency that is measured during each base/reference measurement period for six minutes. Base mass concentration (Base MC) is PM concentration of the particle-laden sample stream at 30° C, while Reference mass concentration (Ref MC) is obtained from the particle-free sample stream, after passing through the purge filter. Mass concentration is calculated by subtracting the Ref MC from the Base MC. The FDMS accounts for volatile PM that may not be detected by earlier TEOM models and minimizes the positive artifact that results from the absorption of gases.

Manufacturer: Thermo

Location: WB facility (Field Measurement)

Thermo 5030 Synchronized Hybrid Ambient Real-time Particulate Monitor (SHARP)


The Model 5030 Synchronized Hybrid Ambient Real-time Particulate (SHARP) Monitor is a hybrid nephelometric/radiometric PM2.5 mass monitor. The SHARP monitor incorporates a high sensitivity light scattering photometer. The SHARP monitor incorporates continuous mass calibration of the nephelometric signal that is continuously referenced to the measurements of beta attenuation. The intelligent moisture reduction system of the SHARP is used to maintain the relative humidity of the air passing through the beta attenuation filter tape and minimize the loss of semi-volatiles from the collected sample.

Manufacturer: Thermo

Location: WB Facility (Field Measurement)

P-Trak Ultra fine Particle Counter

The P-Trak is a portable instrument used to detect and measure the real-time number concentration (particles/cm3) of ultrafine particles (UFP) with diameters below 0.1 μm. This instrument is equipped with a data logger, and is particularly useful for determining indoor sources of UFP.

Manufacturer: TSI Inc.

Location: WB facility (Field Measurement)

DUSTTRACK Aerosol Monitor

The DUSTTRAK Aerosol Monitor is a portable instrument used to provide-real time measurements of PM10, PM­2.5 or PM1.0. The DUSTTRAK utilizes a battery-operated laser photometer to determine aerosol concentration (mg/m3), which can be stored using the instrument’s data logging option.

Manufacturer: TSI Inc.

Location: WB Facility (Field Measurement)

Tapered Element Oscillating Microbalance (TEOM) Series 1400a Ambient Particulate Monitor


The TEOM uses a filter-based system to continuously monitor the concentration of particulate matter. An inertial balance correlates changes in the oscillating frequency of the tapered element to aerosol concentration. The instrument is capable of measuring PM10, PM­2.5, PM1.0, or Total Suspended Particles (TSP).


Manufacturer: Thermo Electron Corp.

Location: GAGE

Chemical characteristics

TSI 3800 Aerosol Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer (ATOFMS)


The ATOFMS measures the size and chemical components within individual aerosol particles ranging in size between 30nm and 10μm in near real-time on a continuous basis. The ATOFMS has a temporal resolution high enough to make multiple measurements per second, allowing the characterization of the mixture of aerosol particles present in the air, as well as the tracking of rapid fluctuations in aerosol composition.

Manufacturer: TSI Inc.

Location(s): WB facility (Field Measurement). MAPLE

Sunset thermal-optical semi continuous OC/EC analyzer



The OC/EC provides a semi-continuous analysis of aerosol organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) concentration with a sampling time ranging from 6 to 12 minutes. The OC/EC preferentially volatilizes OC and EC collected on quartz-fiber filters, oxidizing each species to determine their respective concentrations.


Manufacturer: Sunset Laboratory Inc.

Location(s): WB facility (Field Measurement). MAPLE

DMT Photoacoustic soot spectrometer (PASS)

Photoacoustic Spec

Photo Acoustic Soot Spectrometer (PASS) measures the optical absorption and scattering coefficient of particles using a photo acoustic technique. The absorption coefficient can be converted to black carbon mass baesd on the assumption of black carbon mass absorption coefficient. Multiple wavelength measurement allows the absorbing angstrom exponent to be determined, giving an indication of the type and quantity of brown carbon present in addition to the soot.

Manufacturer: Droplet Measurement Technologies

Location(s): WB facility (Field Measurement). MAPLE

Aethalometer (AE-21)


This dual-channel Aethalometer is capable of indirectly measuring the concentration of aerosol black carbon (elemental carbon) in near-real-time. The time resolution is user specified, ranging from 1 hour to 1 minute. The instrument relies on the optical absorption of elemental carbon at 880 nm in the infrared range, and 370 nm in the ultraviolet range to determine the associated mass concentration in a sample.

Manufacturer: Magee Scientific Company

Location: (on loan from Environment Canada)

Aerodyne Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM)

Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM)

Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM) measures aerosol mass and chemical composition of non-refractory submicron aerosol particles (i.e. ammonium, nitrate, sulphate, organics, and chloride) in real-time (up to 15 min). The ACSM is designed and built on the same technology as Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS) combining an aerodynamic particle focusing lens (~40-1000 nm) with high vacuum thermal particle vaporization and mass spectrometry.

Manufacturer: Aerodyne

Location(s): WB Facility

Gas Particle-Ion Chromatograph (GPIC)


The GPIC semi-continuously measures water-soluble inorganic particles and gases using ion chromatography and conductivity detection methods. The GPIC can be configured to measure either aerosols, gases, or both species simultaneously. The GPIC is subdivided into two systems that independently collect and analyze particulate matter and gases - each on separate channels, and both with a 15 minute time resolution.Aerosol species of interest include SO42-, NO3-, NO2-, Cl-, and NH4+. Gaseous species measured by the GPIC include SO2, HNO3, HCl, HNO2, and NH3.

Manufacturer: Dionex Corp

Location(s): WB facility (Field Measurement)

Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS)



The AMS is a non-intrusive instrument capable of measuring aerosol chemical composition, and can also monitor chemical composition as a function of particle size for particles ranging in size from 50 to 700 nm. Particle time-of-flight measurements are used to determine the size of aerosols, while time-of-flight mass spectrometry is used to determine their composition with a time resolution as high as 1 second.


Manufacturer: Aerodyne Inc.

Location: Lash Miller. MAPLE

Proton-Transfer-Reaction Mass Spectrometer (PTR-MS) with fast ion source/drift tube system


The PTR-MS provides real-time concentration measurements of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with a detection limit in the parts per trillion range, and an instrument response time of less than 100 milliseconds. The instrument uses a soft ionization method, which involves proton transfer from H3O+ ions to compounds with a higher proton affinity than water, to deduce VOC concentration. This method eliminates interference from common gases found in air such as N2, O­­2, and CO2.

Manufacturer: Ionicon Analytik

Location: WB facility (Field Measurement). MAPLE


Xact 625 Monitoring System


The Xact 625 is an X-ray based platform capable of continuously and simultaneously measuring up to 24 metals found in ambient air. The system uses reel-to-reel (RTR) filter tape sampling and nondestructive X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis to monitor metals in ambient particulate matter. The air is sampled through a particulate matter size-selective inlet and drawn through a filter tape. The resulting sample is automatically advanced and analyzed by XRF for selected metals at the same time that the next sample is collected.

Manufacturer: Cooper Environmental Services 

Xact metal monitor (Xact 625, Cooper Environ.)


The Xact metal monitor (Xact 625, Cooper Environ.) measures hourly concentrations of trace metals in PM2.5 (particulate matter maller than 2.5 μm in aerodynamic diameter). In brief, particles are sampled through a section of Teflon filter tape at a flow rate of 16.7 lpm. The filter tape spot then advances in an analysis area, where the collected PM2.5 is analyzed by energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (ED-XRF) to determine metal mass. The sequence of sampling and analysis can continue automatically on an hourly basis. The metal monitor measures the following 24 metals: Ag, As, Ba, Br, Ca, Cd, Ca, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mn, Ni, Pb, Rb, S, Se, Si, Sn, Sr, Ti, V, Zn.

Manufacturer: Pall Corp

Location: WB facility 

Thermal Desorption - Gas Chromatography / Mass Spectrometer (TD-GC/MS)

The TD-GC/MS analysis the chemical composition of organic particles. Particles collected on filters are heated under helium and thermal desorbed for chemical analysis. Thermal desorption avoids filter extraction artifacts associated with organic solvents. Organic compounds are separated by gas chromatography and analyzed by electron ionization mass spectrometry.

Manufacturer: Gerstel and Agilent

Location: WB facility (laboratory analysis)

Supporting instruments

API 400A O3 analyzer

The UV Absorption Ozone Analyzer is a microprocessor-controlled analyzer that uses a system based on the Beer-Lambert law for real-time measurements of low ranges of ozone in ambient air. Detection limits are in the ppbv range.

Manufacturer: API

Location: WB facility (Field Measurement). MAPLE

Teledyne 300 CO analyzer

The carbon monoxide analyzer measures CO in the range of 0-100 ppb and/or 0-100 ppm with a 10-second time resolution. Using the Beer-Lambert law, this instrument determines the difference in absorption of infrared energy by ambient air and a reference gas to determine the concentration of CO.

Manufacturer: Teledyne API

Location: WB facility (Field Measurement). MAPLE

Thermo 410i CO2 analyzer

Chemiluminescent NO/NO2 /NOX Analyzer - Thermo 42i

The Chemiluminescent NO/NO2 /NOX Analyzer is capable of providing real-time measurements either NO, NO2, or NOx concentration on a ppbv basis. The instrument operates using chemiluminescence detection and microprocessor technology.

Manufacturer: Fisher Scientific

Location: WB facility (Field Measurement). MAPLE

Image Available: Yes


Recordum Airpointer for O3, NOx, PM

AirPointer is a multi-gas and particle monitoring platform that can measure a wide variety of pollutants (O3, NO, NO2, NOx, PM2.5).

Manufacturer: Recordum

Location: WB facility (Field Measurement)


TSI 3480 electrospray aerosol generator


The 3480 electrospray produces high concentrations (~ 107 /cm-3) of monodispersed particles from 2 to 100 nm (uniform in size and shape).

Manufacturer: TSI Inc.

Location: WB facility (Field Measurement). MAPLE

  • Columbia Orion Weather Station
  • WeatherHawk 510 Weather Station


MultiGas™ 2030-HS High Speed (5 Hz) FTIR Gas Analyzer

FTIR Gas Analyzer 



The MultiGas™ 2030 HS is a high speed, high resolution FTIR based gas analyzer designed to monitor automobile, diesel, locomotive, and catalyst combustion exhaust emissions at 5 measurements per second (5Hz).

The MultiGas™ 2030 HS gas analyzer is composed of a high speed 0.5 cm-1 process-hardened FTIR spectrometer. This FTIR spectrometer incorporates a patented 5.11 m high-optical-throughput 200 mL gas sampling cell capable of 100 L/m flow rate no backpressure or noise that would degrade the quantitative measurement. The analyzer generally incorporates a high sensitivity liquid nitrogen cooled MCT detector that can maintain cryogenic temperatures for up to 12 hours on a single charge and up to 3-4 days with an additional 5L external dewar. The system is delivered complete with easy to use software and system diagnostics, calibration, installation and training.

Manufacturer: MKS Technology for Productivity

Location: Mechanical Building (120)

Q-Trak Indoor Air Quality Monitor

The Q-Track is a portable instrument used to provide real-time measurements of indoor air quality parameters. The instrument is equipped with a data logger, and is capable of measuring CO2 concentration, CO concentration, temperature, and humidity. The Q-track can calculate dew point, wet bulb temperature, and percent outside air.

Manufacturer: TSI Inc.

Location: WB facility (Field Measurement)

SO2 Fluorescent Analyzer - Thermo 43C SO2

The SO2 Fluorescent Analyzer measures the concentration of low level sulfur dioxide in real-time on a ppbv basis. This instrument relies of principles of UV fluorescence and uses microprocessor technology to determine either the average or instantaneous SO­2 concentration with the assistance of built-in data acquisition.

Manufacturer: Teledyne API

Location: WB facility (Field Measurement). MAPLE

Image Available: Yes