Commerce City-North Denver
Air Monitoring

Monitoring Technology

Air Pollutant/Parameter Category Principle of Operation
Total VOC Photoionization Detector
SO2 Electrochemical Sensor
CO Electrochemical Sensor
NO Electrochemical Sensor
NO2 Electrochemical Sensor
H2S Electrochemical Sensor
PM2.5 Laser Scattering
Wind Speed, Wind Direction, Temperature, Relative Humidity, Barometric Pressure Sonic Anemometer and Various

In the devices sampling occurs by allowing the ambient air to passively enter the devices exterior housing via small holes and pass over the surface of the sensor. Each device used in this project is solar powered and transmits data via cellular.

A Photoionization Detector (PID) sensor contains a lamp that produces photons that carry enough energy to break molecules into ions. The PID will only respond to molecules that have an ionization energy at or below the energy of the lamp; the PID used on this project employs a 10.6 electron-volt lamp.The produced ions then generate an electrical current that is measured as the output of the detector.

Electrochemical sensors measure the concentration of a specific gas within an external circuit via oxidation or reduction reactions. These reactions generate the positive or negative current flow through the external circuit. An electrochemical sensor is made up of a working, counter, and reference electrode. All of these components sit inside of a sensor housing along with a liquid electrolyte that is specific to the compound of interest.

The sampled particles are measured by the physical principle of light scattering. Each single particle is illuminated by a defined laser light and each scattering signal is detected at an angle of 90° by a photo diode. In accordance with the Mie theory, each measured pulse height is directly proportional to the particle size whereas each pulse is classified in an electronic register of 32 different size channels.