USDA Forest Service Missoula Technology & Development Center Air Program News

Issue 1

October 2001

DataRam Shelters

A portable shelter for the MIE DataRam.

The Missoula Technology and Development Center (MTDC) has developed a portable shelter for the MIE DataRam to keep rain and wind blown dust and debris off this real-time particulate monitor. The shelter is made from a water resistant fabric and will keep the instrument dry. A reinforced hole at the top of the shelter fits snuggly over the air inlet nipple. The shelter has enough room for the instrument's power supply and a power strip, if you are using one. A clear plastic shield on the face of the shelter allows you to view the front panel and press the controls.


Photographs of the covers of the documents titled, 'Laboratory Evaluation of Two Optical Instruments for Real-Time Particulate Monitoring of Smoke', and 'Evaluation of Optical Instruments for Real-Time Continuous Monitoring of Smoke Particulates'

Copies of our real-time instrument comparison (the red report) and evaluation (the green report) are available. Both reports show the results of the real-time, optical-based instruments as compared to gravimetric results when measuring smoke particulate concentrations. They can be ordered through MTDC's Watershed, Soil, and Air Web site at or by calling our publications distribution group at (406) 329-3978.

Current Projects

2000 Montana Fire Smoke Sampling Report

MTDC deployed several real-time instruments during the severe fire and smoke season in western Montana during the summer of 2000. The instruments were set up in Missoula and Hamilton, MT, and collocated with Federal Reference Method PM2.5 gravimetric samplers for comparison. Results of the testing are being published and will be available this fall. We'll let you know as soon as the report is available.

Satellite Data Retrieval

The center is working with Applied Digital Security, Inc (ADSI) of San Diego, CA, to develop a satellite-based data retrieval system for both the older and newer models of the MIE DataRams. The system will send packets of 5-minute average particulate concentrations each hour by satellite to a database stored at ADSI. The information can be viewed and retrieved through ADSI's password-protected Web site.

DataRam Forest Service Users Guide

The center is developing a user's manual for the older and newer (DataRam4) model DataRams. The guide is designed for Forest Service employees who have little or no experience with air monitoring instruments. It will give basic instructions for setting up and operating the instruments and will show how to incorporate the "correction" algorithm determined during our laboratory and field evaluation tests.

For more information on any of the projects, please contact:

Richard Karsky
MTDC Watershed, Soil, and Air Program Leader
(406) 329-3921

Mary Ann Davies
MTDC Project Leader
(406) 329-3981

Andy Trent
MTDC Project Leader
(406) 329-3912



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