NPL has extensive knowledge of sensors and data quality and advises government, academia, industry and the public about how to best use the data produced by air quality sensors.
NPL also validates the performance of low-cost sensors and has developed extensive facilities to test a wide range of such devices. One example is the work we do to test lower-cost ammonia sensors. Ammonia is an important pollutant that can adversely affect not only plant ecosystems, but also human health, since it can react with other chemicals to produce particulates (PM2.5). Measures to cut ammonia emissions, mainly from intensive agriculture, are believed to be the most effective way to reduce human exposure to this particulate material. NPL has tested ammonia sensors from different manufacturers in exposure chamber facilities. The results provided manufacturers with the tools to improve the traceability and accuracy of their ambient ammonia measurements, and provided end users and regulators with information about which sensors work best in which conditions.