Details for Particle mobility size spectrometers: harmonization of technical standards and data structure to fac

Name:Particle mobility size spectrometers: harmonization of technical standards and data structure to fac

Wiedensohler, A., Birmili, W., Nowak, A., Sonntag, A., Weinhold, K., Merkel, M., Wehner, B., Tuch, T., Pfeifer, S., Fiebig, M., Fjäraa, A. M., Asmi, E., Sellegri, K., Depuy, R., Venzac, H., Villani, P., Laj, P., Aalto, P., Ogren, J. A., Swietlicki, E., Roldin, P., Williams, P., Quincey, P., Hüglin, C., Fierz-Schmidhauser, R., Gysel, M., Weingartner, E., Riccobono, F., Santos, S., Grüning, C., Faloon, K., Beddows, D., Harrison, R. M., Monahan, C., Jennings, S. G., O'Dowd, C. D., Marinoni, A., Horn, H.-G., Keck, L., Jiang, J., Scheckman, J., McMurry, P. H., Deng, Z., Zhao, C. S., Moerman, M., Henzing, B., and de Leeuw, G.: Particle mobility size spectrometers: harmonization of technical standards and data structure to facilitate high quality long-term observations of atmospheric particle number size distributions, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., 3, 5521-5587, doi:10.5194/amtd-3-5521-2010, 2010.

Particle mobility size spectrometers often referred to as DMPS (Differential Mobility Particle Sizers) or SMPS (Scanning Mobility Particle Sizers) have found a wide application in atmospheric aerosol research. However, comparability of measurements conducted world-wide is hampered by lack of generally accepted technical standards with respect to the instrumental set-up, measurement mode, data evaluation as well as quality control. This article results from several instrument intercomparison workshops conducted within the European infrastructure project EUSAAR (European Supersites for Atmospheric Aerosol Research). Under controlled laboratory conditions, the number size distribution from 20 to 200 nm determined by mobility size spectrometers of different design are within an uncertainty range of ±10% after correcting internal particle losses, while below and above this size range the discrepancies increased. Instruments with identical design agreed within ±3% in the peak number concentration when all settings were done carefully. Technical standards were developed for a minimum requirement of mobility size spectrometry for atmospheric aerosol measurements. Technical recommendations are given for atmospheric measurements including continuous monitoring of flow rates, temperature, pressure, and relative humidity for the sheath and sample air in the differential mobility analyser. In cooperation with EMEP (European Monitoring and Evaluation Program), a new uniform data structure was introduced for saving and disseminating the data within EMEP. This structure contains three levels: raw data, processed data, and final particle size distributions. Importantly, we recommend reporting raw measurements including all relevant instrument parameters as well as a complete documentation on all data transformation and correction steps. These technical and data structure standards aim to enhance the quality of long-term size distribution measurements, their comparability between different networks and sites, and their transparency and traceability back to raw data.



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