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Laboratory Evaluation of Real-Time Smoke Particulate Monitors

Three new real-time smoke particulate monitors were tested by MTDC recently. Monitoring the smoke particulate concentrations generated by prescribed burns and wildland fires is becoming more important as the number of fires increases across the West. Federal, State, and local governments are issuing more frequent and more detailed smoke advisories and health warnings. Determining particulate concentrations in real time is important to health officials.[image] cover of publication entitled Laboratory Evaluation of Real-Time Smoke Particulate Monitors

The instruments tested included two new models developed by MetOne Instruments, Inc., and an improved version of an instrument that had been tested previously, the MIE DataRAM4. The tests were conducted in the Fire Sciences Laboratory’s burn chamber adjacent to MTDC’s facility. The monitors were placed on a platform within the chamber, and pine needles were burned to produce the smoke. The monitors were calibrated before the tests. A Federal Reference Method gravimetric sampler was used to establish the standard to which the real-time monitors were compared.

The goal of these tests was to determine the accuracy of each instrument and to compare the precision of the different units.

The report on these tests, Laboratory Evaluation of Real-Time Smoke Particulate Monitors (0325–2834–MTDC), is available on the Internet at: 2834

For more information on real-time particulate samplers and the test results, contact Andy Trent, project leader (phone: 406–329–3912; e-mail:

To order the report, contact Cailen Hegman, MTDC publications (phone: 406–329–3978; fax: 406–329–3719; e-mail:

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