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    Mobility particle size spectrometers: Calibration procedures and measurement uncertainties
    (Philadelphia, Pa : Taylor & Francis, 2017) Wiedensohler, A.; Wiesner, A.; Weinhold, K.; Birmili, W.; Hermann, M.; Merkel, M.; Müller, T.; Pfeifer, S.; Schmidt, A.; Tuch, T.; Velarde, F.; Quincey, P.; Seeger, S.; Nowak, A.
    Mobility particle size spectrometers (MPSS) belong to the essential instruments in aerosol science that determine the particle number size distribution (PNSD) in the submicrometer size range. Following calibration procedures and target uncertainties against standards and reference instruments are suggested for a complete MPSS quality assurance program: (a) calibration of the CPC counting efficiency curve (within 5% for the plateau counting efficiency; within 1 nm for the 50% detection efficiency diameter), (b) sizing calibration of the MPSS, using a certified polystyrene latex (PSL) particle size standard at 203 nm (within 3%), (c) intercomparison of the PNSD of the MPSS (within 10% and 20% of the dN/dlogDP concentration for the particle size range 20–200 and 200–800 nm, respectively), and (d) intercomparison of the integral PNC of the MPSS (within 10%). Furthermore, following measurement uncertainties have been investigated: (a) PSL particle size standards in the range from 100 to 500 nm match within 1% after sizing calibration at 203 nm. (b) Bipolar diffusion chargers based on the radioactive nuclides Kr85, Am241, and Ni63 and a new ionizer based on corona discharge follow the recommended bipolar charge distribution, while soft X-ray-based charges may alter faster than expected. (c) The use of a positive high voltage supply show a 10% better performance than a negative one. (d) The intercomparison of the integral PNC of an MPSS against the total number concentration is still within the target uncertainty at an ambient pressure of approximately 500 hPa. Copyright © 2018 Published with license by American Association for Aerosol Research.
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    Methodology for high-quality mobile measurement with focus on black carbon and particle mass concentrations
    (Göttingen : Copernicus GmbH, 2019) Alas, H.D.C.; Weinhold, K.; Costabile, F.; Di Ianni, A.; Müller, T.; Pfeifer, S.; Di Liberto, L.; Turner, J.R.; Wiedensohler, A.
    Measurements of air pollutants such as black carbon (BC) and particle mass concentration in general, using mobile platforms equipped with high-time-resolution instruments, have gained popularity over the last decade due to their wide range of applicability. Assuring the quality of mobile measurement, data have become more essential, particularly when the personal exposure to pollutants is related to their spatial distribution. In the following, we suggest a methodology to achieve data from mobile measurements of equivalent black carbon (eBC) and PM2:5 mass concentrations with high data quality. Besides frequent routine quality assurance measures of the instruments, the methodology includes the following steps: (a) measures to ensure the quality of mobile instruments through repeated collocated measurements using identical instrumentation, (b) inclusion of a fixed station along the route containing quality-assured reference instruments, and (c) sufficiently long and frequent intercomparisons between the mobile and reference instruments to correct the particle number and mass size distributions obtained from mobile measurements. The application of the methodology can provide the following results. First, collocated mobile measurements with sets of identical instruments allow identification of undetected malfunctions of the instruments. Second, frequent intercomparisons against the reference instruments will ensure the quality of the mobile measurement data of the eBC mass concentration. Third, the intercomparison data between the mobile optical particle size spectrometer (OPSS) and a reference mobility particle size spectrometer (MPSS) allow for the adjustment of the OPSS particle number size distribution using physically meaningful corrections. Matching the OPSS and MPSS volume particle size distributions is crucial for the determination of PM2:5 mass concentration. Using size-resolved complex refractive indices and time-resolved fine-mode volume correction factors of the fine-particle range, the calculated PM2:5 from the OPSS was within 5 % of the reference instruments (MPSSCAPSS). However, due to the nonsphericity and an unknown imaginary part of the complex refractive index of supermicrometer particles, a conversion to a volume equivalent diameter yields high uncertainties of the particle mass concentration greater than PM2:5. The proposed methodology addresses issues regarding the quality of mobile measurements, especially for health impact studies, validation of modeled spatial distribution, and development of air pollution mitigation strategies.