### Evaluation of Two Low-Cost Optical Particle Counters for the Measurement of Ambient Aerosol Scattering Coefficient and Ångström Exponent

#### May 15, 2020, 3:49 p.m.

**AUTHORS:**

Markowicz K., Chiliński M.

**ABSTRACT:**

The aerosol scattering coefficient and Ångström exponent (AE) are important parameters in the understanding of aerosol optical properties and aerosol direct effect. These parameters are usually measured by a nephelometer network which is under-represented geographically; however, a rapid growth of air-pollution monitoring, using low-cost particle sensors, may extend observation networks. This paper presents the results of co-located measurements of aerosol optical properties, such as the aerosol scattering coefficient and the scattering AE, using low-cost sensors and using a scientific-grade polar Aurora 4000 nephelometer. A high Pearson correlation coefficient (0.94–0.96) between the low-cost particulate matter (PM) mass concentration and the aerosol scattering coefficient was found. For the PM_{10} mass concentration, the aerosol scattering coefficient relation is linear for the Dfrobot SEN0177 sensor and non-linear for the Alphasense OPC-N2 device. After regression analyses, both low-cost instruments provided the aerosol scattering coefficient with a similar mean square error difference (RMSE) of about 20 Mm^{−1}, which corresponds to about 27% of the mean aerosol scattering coefficient. The relative uncertainty is independent of the pollution level. In addition, the ratio of aerosol number concentration between different bins showed a significant statistical (95% of confidence level) correlation with the scattering AE. For the SEN0177, the ratio of the particle number in bin 1 (radius of 0.15–0.25 µm) to bin 4 (radius of 1.25–2.5 µm) was a linear function of the scattering AE, with a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.74. In the case of OPC-N2, the best correlation (r = 0.66) was found for the ratio between bin 1 (radius of 0.19–0.27 µm) and bin 2 (radius of 0.27–0.39 µm). Comparisons of an estimated scattering AE from a low-cost sensor with Aurora 4000 are given with the RMSE of 0.23–0.24, which corresponds to 16–19%. In addition, a three-year (2016–2019) observation by SEN0177 indicates that this sensor can be used to determine an annual cycle as well as a short-term variability.

* Sensors*, 2020, vol. 20(9), art. 2617; doi: 10.3390/s20092617

Originally published on - May 15, 2020, 3:49 p.m.

Last update on - May 15, 2020, 3:49 p.m.