Air quality monitoring network reporting on particle concentrations from smoke and dust.
An independent environmental assessment and regulatory body whose purpose it is to regulate developments and activities that may impact on environmental quality.
The network, which has been in operation since the middle of 2009, was created in response to public complaints reporting smoke from various parts of Tasmania during the autumn 2008 planned-burning season. This led to a requirement for low-cost, remotely-reporting air stations specifically aimed at smoke measurement.
The particle measuring instrument chosen for the systems was the TSI 8533 DRX DustTrak Aerosol Monitor, which uses an optical scattering method whereby air is drawn into a cavity illuminated by a laser beam. The more particles in the air, the more the laser light is scattered in the cavity.
The advantages of using a scattering instrument such as the 8533 includes its relatively low cost, small size, low power consumption and the ability to operate almost entirely without human intervention. In addition, the 8533 also collects real-time air quality data meaning there is no need to pre-weigh, deploy, recover and post weigh any filters.
As well as supplying the TSI model 8533 (more commonly known as the DustTrak DRX), Kenelec Scientific also assisted in the design and build of the custom monitoring stations utilised in this project which included the DustTrak DRX , a Davis Vantage Pro2 Weather Station. In addition, Kenelec helped in the build of a heated inlet.
Initially the network consisted of 15 systems but has since grown to 35 systems around Tasmania. The locations for the monitoring sites took into consideration population density, strategic location and winter-time smoke levels.
The network currently receives and reports air concentration measurements for PM2.5 and PM10 particle sizes with PM2.5 is the most appropriate quantity for assessing woodsmoke levels and PM10 including smoke as well as dust.
With the ongoing support of Kenelec Scientific, the system currently operates at a high level of performance and reliability and provides indicative real-time air quality data.
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Products used in this project
The TSI DustTrak DRX Aerosol Monitor can measure both mass and size fraction at the same time and provides a gravimetric sample. It is suitable for indoor and outdoor applications, industrial and occupational hygiene, baseline screening, remote monitoring and research studies.
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