Key Messages

Optical PM2.5 measurements are sensitive to aerosol properties that can vary with space and time. Here, we compared PM2.5 measurements from collocated reference-grade (beta attenuation monitors, BAMs) and optical instruments (two DustTrak II and two DustTrak DRX) over 6 months. We performed inter-model (two different models), intra-model (two units of the same model), and inter-type (two different device types: optical vs. reference-grade) comparisons under ambient conditions.

We also explored two different methods to compensate for relative humidity bias and found that the results differed by ~ 50% between the two methods. This study highlights the limitations of adopting a literature-derived calibration equation and the need for conducting local model-specific calibration. Moreover, this is one of the few studies to perform an intra-model comparison of collocated reference-grade devices.

Meenakshi Kushwaha, Adithi R. Upadhya, Pratyush Agrawal, Joshua S. Apte and Julian D. Marshall are the co-authors of this paper.

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Bias in PM2.5 measurements using collocated reference-grade and optical instruments