• Better Quality Air Means a Better Quality of Life
    The Vaisala multi weather station WXT536.

Portable/Field Testing

Better Quality Air Means a Better Quality of Life

Feb 21 2017

Air quality affects our quality of life, but current measurement networks do not provide accurate enough picture of the air quality situation. By bringing air quality monitoring where it previously has not been practical, Vaisala Air Quality Transmitters provide information that can directly impact our daily lives.

Since the London smog incident in the 1950s, ambient air monitoring has developed into a globally adopted public task. It is performed to ensure the health and safety of citizens as well as to minimise adverse environmental effects due to pollutants.

In today’s statutory air quality networks, measurements are made with fixed air monitoring stations using standard reference methods. Analysers using these methods are well established and accurate, but are costly to operate and maintain, so the number and spatial density of these stations is typically relatively low. Typically, stations are several kilometres apart even in cities.

However, due to the localised nature of pollution sources and microclimatic effects, the air quality in cities inevitably varies on much smaller scale, making current networks inadequate for providing real-time localised air quality information.

Vaisala Air Quality Transmitters provide a new type of a cost effective solution for monitoring ambient air, providing a real-time picture of the local air quality situation. Quick and easy to deploy, they are ideal for complementing an analyser-based network for a more accurate picture of the air quality situation.

They are also an easy way to establish a monitoring network around industrial sites, like petrochemical facilities, power plants or mines, where air quality is of particular interest.

Vaisala also offers software solutions for managing a network of instruments and making the measurement data easily accessible for users and applications. The data can also be used to support air quality forecasting.

The accumulation of air pollution also depends on local meteorological conditions. For example, wind can move pollutants distances of hundreds of kilometres, and under low level inversion conditions, pollutants accumulate to generate high ground level concentrations. Wet deposition due to rainfall clears the air from pollutants but can also pollute the environment in the form of acid rain.

Understanding local weather conditions is therefore important in fully understanding air quality conditions.

To this end, the Vaisala Air Quality Transmitters can seamlessly be connected to the Vaisala Weather Transmitter family of products. These products measure the essential weather parameters (wind, rain, PTU) in a compact and easy to deploy format.

Also a solar irradiation sensor can be added to provide data on local photochemical conditions. Vaisala also offers ceilometer instruments for 24/7 monitoring of boundary layer height and conditions.

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