Office of Research and Development Publications

Performance Evaluation of the United Nations Environment Programme Air Quality Monitoring Unit

Citation:

Williams, R., T. Conner, A. Clements, V. Foltescu, V. Nthusi, J. Jabbour, D. Nash, J. Rice, A. Kaufman, A. Rourk, AND M. Srivastava. Performance Evaluation of the United Nations Environment Programme Air Quality Monitoring Unit. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-17/171, 2017.

Impact/Purpose:

The UNEP recently developed a multipollutant sensor pod called the UNEP Air Quality Monitoring Unit, herein simply defined as the UNEP pod (http://aqicn.org/faq/2015-10-28/unep-air-quality-monitoring-station/). First introduced in 2015, the UNEP pod had the goal of providing affordable air quality monitoring instrumental to a world-wide audience. A basic cost of ~ $1500/pod has been reported which would potentially allow many end users to obtain the device and operate it to achieve environmental monitoring for a variety of needs. Basic features of the UNEP pod include a weather proof milled aluminum encasement, a series of gas phase sensors for criteria pollutant monitoring, an optical particle counter for estimations of particulate matter mass, environmental meteorological sensors, as well as fans and other assorted electronic components. The unit, as designed, was intended for near-continuous operation when energized with local land power with data transmission occurring via cellular communication to a dedicated service provider.

Description:

A request for technical collaboration between the UNEP and the US EPA resulted in the establishment of a MCRADA. The purpose of this agreement was to evaluate an air quality monitoring system (referred to as the UNEP pod) developed by the UNEP for use in environmental situations where more sophisticated monitoring instrumentation was not available. The US EPA has conducted numerous evaluations of other similar sensor pods at its Research Triangle Park, NC research campus and has trained staff as well as established research designs for such efforts. Under the terms of the MCRADA, the US EPA would operate the pod using UNEP provided operating procedures in a manner consistent with its planned intent of deployment. The US EPA would collect air quality monitoring data from the pod involving select environmental measures over a period of approximately one month. Reference monitoring data collected from collocated federal regulatory monitors would be used to establish a comparison between the two systems and thus establishment of performance characteristics. In addition, the US EPA would provide feedback information to the UNEP as to observed ease of use features of the pod that would be beneficial in its future evolution and deployment.

URLs/Downloads:

WILLIAM ORD-022103 FINAL REPORT..PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 2271.345 KB,  about PDF)

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PUBLISHED REPORT/REPORT)
Product Published Date: 07/17/2017
Record Last Revised: 07/17/2017
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 336950

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY

EXPOSURE METHODS & MEASUREMENT DIVISION