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Utah's Foremost Platform for Undergraduate Research Presentation
2018 Abstracts

Uncertainty in Optical Particulate Counting Sensors

Jared Blanchard, Brigham Young University

In order to mitigate the health problems and environmental damage caused by the burning of biomass in homes across the developing world, there is an international effort to design clean burning cookstoves with greater efficiency and fewer harmful emissions. An important measuring tool for gauging the effectiveness of these alternate stoves is the optical particulate counter. This type of sensor beams light through the contaminated air and measure how much of that light is refracted. Based on these measurements, the size and amount of particles in the air can be inferred. However, for the most part, these measurements are taken at face value, without an understanding of the amount of uncertainty involved in the measurement process. This project describes the development of an accurate mathematical model for a particular sensor, the OPC-N2 by Alphasense, and states how this model leads to increased understanding of the uncertainty involved in the operation of our sensor and therefore, sensors like it.