Gloucestershire based air quality technology firm Air Monitors Ltd has been awarded a contract by the Environment Agency to supply real-time particulate matter (PM) monitors to support the Automatic Urban and Rural Network (AURN).
Under the contract, Air Monitors could supply up to 70 FIDAS 200 PM monitors over four years for the continuous measurement of particle size for PM10, PM2.5 and as dual instruments which measure both PM10 and PM2.5 size fractions at the same time.
The AURN is the UK’s largest automatic monitoring network and is the main network used for compliance reporting against the Ambient Air Quality Directives.
The FIDAS 200 is certified as equivalent to the PM10 and PM2.5 reference methods both by the German standards agency TÜV and to Defra’s MCERTS for UK Particulate Matter Standard.
Commenting on the contract award, Jim Mills, Air Monitors managing director, said “This is an extremely important award, not just because of the size of the award, but also because this new technology will provide greater insight into PM – one of the air quality parameters of greatest concern.
“The operating costs are also extremely low; the requirement for consumables is almost nil, no filter is necessary for example, and its power consumption is a fraction of most other monitors. In addition, calibration can be conducted quickly and easily in the field with a simple monodisperse powder test which is only required once every 3 months.â€?
The FIDAS 200 is equipped with a high intensity LED light source, which according to Air Monitors is extremely stable, delivering a long lifetime, with minimal service requirements.
An optical aerosol spectrometer determines the particle size using Lorenzâ€?Mie scattered light analysis of single particles. These particles move through an optical measurement volume that is homogeneously illuminated with white light, and each particle generates a scattered light impulse that is detected at an angle of 90 degrees.
The particle number measurement is based on the number of scattered light impulses, and the level of the scattered light impulse is a measure of the particle diameter. The mass concentration is then derived by a proprietary algorithm from the number and size distribution.
Summarising, Jim says: “This contract could lead to a potential 70 PM monitors being ordered from us over four years (two years plus two one year extensions). An alternative type of PM monitor will also be supplied as part of the Environment Agency contract, but in the light of the advantages delivered by the FIDAS 200 we believe that the FIDAS 200 is the instrument of choice.
“As soon as the contract was awarded we received orders for multiple FIDAS monitors, valued at over £300k, and we look forward to installing many more over the coming years.â€?