Fast Integrating Mobility Spectrometer for Aerosol Measurements

Period of Performance: 01/01/2008 - 12/31/2008


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Droplet Measurement Technologies, Inc.
2545 Central Avenue
Boulder, CO 80301
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


Aerosols resulting from the particle emissions of combustion can pose a hazard to health and threaten ecosystems. In an effort to better understand and decrease the deleterious impact of these aerosols, the DOE is investing significant resources into new instrumentation and field programs that better characterize their physical, chemical and optical properties. In support of this effort, this project will develop a versatile system, the Fast Integrating Mobility Spectrometer (FIMS), for classifying the condensation nuclei (CN) and growth factors of aerosols by size and concentration. The system, which combines electro-mobility with optical imaging, will measure particle sizes based upon their trajectories in an electric field. Very narrow size spectra will be resolved at sample rates of 1 Hz or greater. Phase I will develop a proof-of-concept prototype of the FIMS, evaluate individual components in laboratory tests, and demonstrate its functionality for deriving size distributions for CN and growth factors. In Phase II, a ready-for-market operational system, which can be installed on ground-based or airborne platforms, will be built. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The FIMS should provide a very-fast-response high-sensitivity alternative to conventional differential-mobility analyzers that require lengthy periods and numerical inversion to acquire size spectra. The FIMS will be marketed as a research tool for laboratory and field studies, as a component for air quality monitoring networks, and as sensor for high-resolution near-field measurements of particle emissions near combustion sources.