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Analyst. 2001 Aug;126(8):1216-20.

A portable pulsed cavity ring-down transmissometer for measurement of the optical extinction of the atmospheric aerosol.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Portland State University, OR 97207-0751, USA.


A small portable system is described which is used to directly determine the optical extinction of the atmospheric aerosol. The requisite highly sensitive measurement of the optical extinction is accomplished simultaneously at two wavelengths in the near-infrared (1064 nm) and visible (532 nm), using the pulsed cavity ring-down (CRD) approach. The measurement at the two wavelengths can aid in separating the scattering and absorption components of the optical extinction. Rayleigh equivalent optical extinction of approximately 10 x 10(-6) m(-1) from particulate matter in the atmospherically important 0.1-2.5 pm diameter size range (fine particle accumulation mode) can be readily observed with short (<5 s) integration times. Optical extinction is inversely related to the visual range, and so the instrument provides a direct measurement of this particulate-related air quality indicator. The instrument can also provide particle size range-selected multiwavelength optical property measurements, which can be inverted to provide valuable information about the extant airborne particulate distribution.

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