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On the optimum sampling time for the measurement of pollutants in ambient atmospheres.

Brown, R J C; Hood, D*; Brown, A S (2008) On the optimum sampling time for the measurement of pollutants in ambient atmospheres. Journal of Automated Methods and Management in Chemistry. Article ID: 814715

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No measurement result of any kind is complete without an associated statement of uncertainty. In general, the aim is to minimise this measurement uncertainty so that the measurement made is fit for purpose, or the uncertainty meets an acceptable level, such as a 'data quality objective'. This paper is demonstrates how the sampling time used to measure a pollutant in air over a given time periods, particularly with automatic instruments, can affect the uncertainty of the measurement result. It is shown that the uncertainty of the overall result depends critically on how the precision characteristics of the measuring instrumentation vary with analyte abundance. An example of the determination of these characteristics for mercury vapour measurement, and the conclusions that may be drawn about optimum sampling times to minimise uncertainty, is provided. For situations where uncertainty is minimised by the use of long sampling periods, the implications of this strategy on the information richness of time series, and for the detection of short-term episodes and peak concentrations, is discussed.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Analytical Science
Analytical Science > Trace Analysis and Electrochemistry
Identification number/DOI: 10.1155/2008/814715
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2018 13:11
URI: http://eprintspublications.npl.co.uk/id/eprint/4089

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