Research & development - Wageningen | More than two weeks ago
Comparison and improvement of calibration models for a low-cost nitrogen measurement station.
High emissions, concentrations and depositions of nitrogen compounds pose a great risk to the balance of ecosystems. The necessity and urgency to reduce the impact of anthropogenic nitrogen have been recognized in the Netherlands and the other member states of the European Union. The excess of nitrogen compounds can result in a surplus of nutrients for vegetation. Plants that need nutrient-poor soil and water disappear and are replaced by species that do thrive on the surplus, leading to a loss in biodiversity. Ammonia (NH3) and nitrogen oxides (NO¬x) are the two major compounds that carry nitrogen through the nitrogen cycle. NH3 is mainly emitted by agricultural activity, NO¬x by traffic and industry. To reduce emissions various measures are taken across the board. However, their effectiveness in practice remains difficult to establish. OnePlanet Research Center has developed a low-cost measurement station to monitor concentrations of nitrogen compounds with high temporal resolution. These stations support the assessment of mitigation measures effectiveness.
Raw measurements of the built-in sensors are reported in nanoamperes. These values need to be calibrated and converted to a concentrations measurement to provide researcher and decision makers with meaningful insights. Such calibration must account and compensate for factors that would potentially result in biased measurements, such as humidity. There are various methods to calibrate the stations, all with their own benefits and drawbacks. Ideally, the stations are deployed at their intended locations immediately, and calibration is performed while the boxes are deployed in the field (field calibration).
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