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Public Lab Wiki documentation

Passive Particle Monitoring

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A passive particle monitor measures particles without the use of mechanical or electrical systems, depending instead on natural wind-blown deposition of particles on a collection surface. Passive particle monitoring is frequently used for qualitative "nuisance dust" measurements, and more recently to extrapolate airborne PM concentrations and the direction dust comes from.

Passive monitoring promises to be less expensive and more robust than active monitors' mechanical and electrical components, but comes with a different set of challenges. Public Lab is investigating one promising passive monitor as a tool for measuring airborne PM concentrations.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages Disadvantages
low cost deployed for 3-7 days, low temporal resolution
deployed without electricity not real-time (results must be analyzed after collection)
simple setup and calibration analysis can be expensive
actual particles are collected particle speciation is limited by method and cost
can generate airborne particle concentrations no way to extrapolate to airborne concentrations of speciated particles