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Aerosol Science

Measurement Facilities

The Aerosol Science Team operates a wide range of field and laboratory facilities for atmospheric and health research:

London Atmospheric Observatories or 'Supersites'

 London Atmospheric
The two London Atmospheric Observatories or ‘supersites’ host a wide range of gaseous and aerosol measurement equipment for atmospheric science and health studies.

One is situated in an urban background location and the other at a heavily-trafficked kerbside location; complemented by a rural supersite located to the west of London.

The London Supersites are owned and operated by the Aerosol Science Team and contain equipment which contributes to a number of UK and international networks:

Mobile Atmospheric Research Platform (MARPL)

The Mobile Atmospheric Research Platform (MARPL) brings together a suite of analytical instrumentation with the capability to measure the near real-time chemical composition of aerosol at a high time resolution, at many locations over long periods of time.

This bridges the gap between short term, intensive measurement campaigns, where only a small number of atmospheric conditions can be assessed, and long-term laboratory-based filter analysis, which lack the resolution to adequately identify PM sources and transformation processes.

MARPL is currently equipped with the following instrumentation: Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM), Aethalometer (AE21), high time resolution X-ray Fluorescence (XACT), Scanning mobility Particle Sizer (TSI 3080 SMPS), Aerodynamic Particle Sizer (TSI 3321 APS) and a meteorological station.

Recent deployments of MARPL have taken place around nickel works in Pontardawe, South Wales and steel industries in Port Talbot and Sheffield.

Aerosol Science Laboratory

Aerosol Science Laboratory
Measurement experiments are undertaken in the laboratory and it also provides an important resource where instruments can be calibrated and prepared for field campaigns.

It also houses our filter weighing facility; a climate controlled facility (19oC to 21oC and 45% RH to 50% RH) used for weighing and conditioning of ambient air monitoring filters for the measurement of PMmass.

Measurements are carried out using an ultra-microbalance (Mettler Toledo UMX2), which is calibrated annually to UKAS standards. The weighing is suitable for the weighing of ambient air filters of any material. The methodology complies with EN12341:2014 Ambient air - Standard gravimetric measurement method for the determination of the PM10 or PM2.5 mass concentration of suspended particulate matter.

Fire Emissions Testing Chamber

Open plan of the fire emissions testing chamber
The Fire Emissions Testing Chamber (FETCh) is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in collaboration with the Wildfire Research Team in King’s Department of Geography. It provides a controlled environment in which to measure the emissions from biomass burning material from a range of sources including forest fires, agricultural fires and domestic wood combustion. 

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