Potential and Limitations of the Low-Cost SDS011 Particle Sensor for Monitoring Urban Air Quality
Matthias Budde, Almuth D. Schwarz, Thomas Müller, Bernd Laquai, Norbert Streibl, Gregor Schindler, Marcel Köpke, Till Riedel, Achim Dittler, Michael Beigl
In Particulate Matter (PM) monitoring, current laser scattering low-cost sensor generations exhibit better stability than early sensor generations and feature internal digital processing to achieve more accurate results. As a representative of this class of sensors, we examine the popular SDS011 PM sensor. Previous work about co-location measurements between SDS011 sensors indicates that the sensor delivers adequate correlation under “typical” conditions, but performs less well under other ambient conditions, especially high humidity. To further explore the sensor’s data quality in-depth, we conducted a series of controlled experiments with high precision reference devices and different aerosols, both polydisperse (ambient air, ammonium sulfate, soot) and monodisperse (polystyrene particles of different sizes). We also present results from a longer-term comparison (days) of multiple sensors, as well as the key influencing factors on uncertainty and assess the sensor’s potential and limitations. Our findings show that a single sensor generally does not capture PM10 satisfactorily and we discuss under which conditions PM2.5 readings reflect the ambient air quality adequately.
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