Manila Observatory’s Lunchtime Seminar: “Measurement of Urban Indoor Office Particulate Matter and Design of a PC-Based Optical Scattering Sensor” by Genevieve Lorenzo

As part of a series of lunchtime seminars at the Manila Observatory,
you are invited to attend the talk:

Measurement of Urban Indoor Office Particulate Matter and Design of a PC-Based Optical Scattering Sensor

by Genevieve Lorenzo

August 11 (Wednesday), 1130 am, Klima conference room, Manila Observatory

Ms. Lorenzo finished her B.S. in Physics (1998) at the Ateneo de Manila University.  She is finishing her graduate studies at the ECCE Department under the supervision of Dr. Nathaniel Libatique, Dr. Greg Tangonan, Dr. James Simpas, and Dr. Dorris Montecastro.  The talk is based on her graduate thesis which she successfully defended last March 2010.

Abstract. Studies in the Philippines on the health implications of air quality have been limited due to the lack of monitoring data.  Since (1) the exposure to air quality is mostly indoors, (2) the urban population (where people stay indoors mostly) in the Philippines is expected to increase and (3) the urban outdoor particulate situation (2002-2007) (which also infiltrates indoors) has been far from ideal, there is a need to be more watchful of urban indoor air quality in the Philippines.  A campaign to measure indoor air quality in various settings in Metro Manila was thus done (2008).  Particulate matter measurements from the campaign show how real time sensors were able to detect the acute concentrations of emitters in the indoor environments.  The real-time sensor that was used is commercially available, but is prohibitively expensive when considering deployment over a network of areas where people live and work.  A PC-based optical scattering sensor using a semiconductor laser diode, a photodiode and a Lock-In Amplifier implemented in software was set-up for lower resolution threshold (Go ? No Go) monitoring.  The sensor was able to detect the presence of high levels of particulate matter.  The optical sensor was referenced to a filter-based sampler, and a commercial optical sensor.  Through threshold monitoring, the optical sensor was be able to serve the purpose of warning when levels of acceptability in indoor air quality were exceeded, while allowing the production of a cheaper (coarser precision) sampler.  The availability of cheap semiconductor optical devices, along with signal processing and data logging in software helped bring the sensor production cost down and improved sensor portability and modularizability.

(posted by Dr. Faye Abigail Cruz, Regional Climate Systems, Manila Observatory)

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Physics News and Features from Ateneo de Manila University

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