World-first small sensor environmental test chamber relies on reference quality Serinus™ gas analysers

2 July 2018

US-based Ambilabs has developed an industry-first Small Sensor Chamber that can accurately mimic global ambient environmental conditions using Acoem Serinus gas analysers as its reference system.

Ambilabs® Small Sensor Test Chamber with integrated reference quality Acoem Serinus® gas analysers.

The uniquely designed Ambilabs® Test Chamber is the result of 24-months of research and development to create a Small Sensor Test Chamber that produces, replicates, sustains and sequences through the whole spectrum of ambient environmental conditions for thorough product testing and analysis at reference quality.

The first Ambilabs® Test Chamber was completed in 2016 and commissioned by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) for its AQ-Spec Laboratory located in Diamond Bar, California. SCAQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and urban portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, considered to be an area in the US containing a wide mix of air pollutants of concern, and a large range of different emissions sources.

Cost effective, reliable & accelerated small sensor testing

With the growing number of low cost, near-reference and/or small sensors entering the market, SCAQMD was looking for a cost-effective, reliable and fast-track way to test small sensors under a variety of different environmental conditions.

To test numerous small sensors in the field to the high standard required would have taken several years. However, with the new Ambilabs® Small Sensor Test Chamber, SCAQMD is now able to conduct extensive laboratory-based testing and analysis in a far shorter time-frame, often as little as just a few weeks, yet still exposing sensors to a diverse range of air pollutant conditions that is similar to what would be experienced in the field.

In addition to standard temperature and humidity control, the Ambilabs® Small Sensor Test Chamber can be easily configured with automated gas dilution and particle generator systems to provide specific atmospheric conditions to test the robustness of sensors and components. Coupled with five different Acoem Serinus™ gas analysers, the Ambilabs® Small Sensor Test Chamber also tests for accuracy, precision and linearity.

Small sensor reference quality benchmark

The Acoem Serinus range includes a variety of gas analysers that measures “representative” air in urban, industrial and rural areas. These measurements are used to determine the level of human exposure to pollutants. For the Ambilabs® Small Sensor Test Chamber, Serinus™ gas analysers accurately measure to reference quality: sulfur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3); carbon monoxide (CO); hydrogen sulfide (H2S); and nitrogen oxide (NO).

Since the Ambilabs® Test Chamber was installed, SCAQMD has achieved impressive results. So much so that they have been eager to share its capabilities with other US and international agencies.

SCAQMD conducted tours of their facility showcasing the Ambilabs® Small Sensor Test Chamber at their 2017 “Making Sense of Sensors” conference attended by more than 250 government, industry, academic and research organisation delegates from the environmental monitoring community.

“US government environmental agencies and industry were looking for a way to test small sensors and components in a more efficient, effective and less time-consuming way,” said Andy Tolley, Ambilabs® Business Manager.

“Using the latest Acoem Serinus gas analysers and calibration system for the Ambilabs® Small Sensor Test Chamber provided the solution we needed to ensure that various gas levels were consistently accurate and at reference quality. They are definitely an essential component in any high-precision solution and make the Ambilabs® Small Sensor Test Chamber a one-of-a-kind in the market. As a result, we’re now fielding requests from other environmental agencies and research facilities across North America,” he added.

Ambilabs will be sponsoring and participating in the inaugural UC Davis Air Quality Research Center’s Air Sensors International Conference at the Oakland Convention Centre, California from 12-14 September 2018. The Ambilabs® Small Sensor Test Chamber will be on display and Ambilabs®’ Andy Tolley will be on hand to talk to delegates who are interested in learning more about the test chamber or seeking advice about precision reference instrumentation – for test chambers or colocation verification systems within small sensor networks.


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