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Environmental monitoring

Air quality instrument testing and calibration

Controlled atmosphere test facility  

NPL offers a range of test and calibration services that support the development and use of air quality monitoring equipment. Our controlled atmosphere test facility (CATFAC) provides a circulating stream of air containing controlled concentrations of test gases in which instruments and devices for air quality measurement can be placed.

Typically used to test air quality measurements obtained by diffusion tube samplers, this facility can create air mixtures of varying relative humidity, temperature (5 °C to 40 °C) and “wind speed”.  

Instruments are placed within the system and can be exposed to the controlled environment for hours, days or weeks.  

Backed with traceable calibration gas reference materials, this can provide low uncertainty testing and validation of air quality monitoring and sampling systems. 

Air quality sensor test facilities  

NPL has a range of facilities for creating controlled atmospheres for the testing and calibration of the next generation of air quality sensors. These facilities comprise of sealed chambers in which concentrations of pollutants can be controlled from ppm to ppb levels along with relative humidity, temperature and pressure. 

Using mass flow controllers to deliver gases to these chambers, the conditions can be varied with time to test a range of sensor performance metrics. Using up to 6 chambers in parallel, this facility can provide an ideal solution for performing a matrix of comparative tests and rapid screening of sensor designs.  

When used with NPL primary reference gases, this provides a fully traceable calibration system with low uncertainties. 

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