Student Research: Christopher David Miele

, Industrial Hygiene (IH), 2007
Faculty Advisor: Michael G. Yost

Applying Optical Remote Sensing Techniques to Monitor Community Air Particulate Pollution


Generally speaking, remote sensing is the measurement or acquisition of information of an object or phenomenon by a recording device that is not in physical contact with the object. Remote sensing technology has broad application and provides an innovative and inexpensive approach to data collection and processing in environmental and occupational health sciences. Currently, the application of remote sensing is largely used in the atmospheric sciences and astronomy. Recent innovations in satellite technology and software applications allow for the use of remote sensing for measurement of stream temperatures and glacial melting.

To control diesel exhaust particulate matter (DPM) effectively, environmental and occupational health professionals require a method to measure emissions quickly and effectively. A novel way for monitoring DPM continuously and in real-time is by utilizing optical remote sensing techniques such as ultraviolet differential optical absorption spectroscopy (UV DOAS). The Cerex Environmental, Inc. UV Sentry utilizes UV DOAS technology to measure multiple air pollutants within an open path up to 1000 meters in length. The PSCAA presently uses this UV DOAS system for ambient gas monitoring but the system also may be capable of measuring particles by optical extinction. All particles scatter and absorb light to some extent, and this phenomenon is a complex function of optical wavelength, particle size, shape, refractive index, and concentration. By quantifying this loss of light along the beam path (known as optical extinction) over a range of wavelengths, it may be possible to estimate the particle concentration.
Taken from the beginning of thesis.