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Instrumentation Laboratory (IL) & NanoLab Facility

Instrumentation Laboratory (established in early 2016): By integrating expertise in electronics engineering, material science, fluid dynamics and information technology, recent advances at the instrumentation lab have led to new possibilities in the development of miniaturized, lightweight and cost-effective instruments for measuring aerosol particles and gaseous pollutants. Novel manufacturing methods (e.g., using mold casting and 3D printing) are already employed by members of the Instrumentation laboratory for building integrated instruments for measuring the concentration and size of atmospheric aerosol particles and gas sensors. Such instruments are expected to lead the way into widespread use in ground and airborne monitoring using platforms such as balloons, UAVs, and combinations of the two. A weather simulation chamber has been built to test miniaturized sensors in real-world conditions (UAV flights in the upper troposphere).

EMME-CARE will upgrade the existing Instrumentation Laboratory and NanoLab Facility to enable the development, characterisation, and testing of the most recent miniaturised air quality monitoring instruments, including systems that go beyond the current state of the art. The Instrumentation Laboratory’s activities will be expanded to include the development of miniaturised gas sensors, as well as integrated air quality instrumentation for ground-based in-situ measurements, and for remote sensing instruments.

The facility will be equipped with the most advanced tools for building both hardware (mechanical parts and electronics) and software of the instruments. It will operate systems for preparing calibration samples for aerosol instruments and gas sensors and for standard reference instruments. It will also operate tools for synthesising and characterising materials for the development of inexpensive gas sensors. The facility will establish a metrology and calibration unit to ensure results are traced and measured in internationally agreed units and will act as a hub for the entire EMME region for such activities.