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Measuring dust in the desert !January 2013

BSRIA Instrument Solutions is best known for hiring, calibrating and or supplying equipment to aid companies in complying with the ever more stringent testing requirements in the construction industry.

Just occasionally something rather more exotic crops up and in 2011 BSRIA Instrument Solutions supplied nine TSI DustTrak IIDRX aerosol monitor along with the means to power them, for use in assessing dust emissions from salt pans in the Sua Pan Desert in North East Botswana. Regular watchers of Top Gear will probably remember the Sua Pa, when Clarkson’s Intrepid Trio crossed this bleakest of landscapes with great difficulty and the wreckage of another three old bangers and recognise some of the difficulties inherent in using rather more delicate equipment in such unfriendly desert conditions.

The equipment has been used successfully in both 2011 and 2012 by Oxford University within part of a major research initiative headed by Dr. Giles Wiggs that also involves use of meteorological masts and other instrumentation to monitor wind stress, temperature gradients, soil moisture and atmospheric visibility among others things, for ultimate use in the prediction of climate change. With the TSI DustTraks BSRIA supplied environmental enclosures, heatshields and the free-standing solar panels that are needed to recharge the machines’ batteries over the testing period. “Being able to monitor the size of the dust is crucial” said Dr Wiggs “Because different sized dust impacts on incoming solar radiation [and hence atmospheric warming] in different ways. The DustTraks are a vital bit of kit for us in this important project”. The TSI DustTraks are considered to be by far the most advanced dust monitors available and BSRIA Instrument Solutions has found them invaluable for assessing and recording indoor air quality in buildings.

Other areas where these remarkable instruments have proved extremely useful are in industrial/occupational hygiene, outdoor air quality, emissions assessment and aerosol research but Dr Wiggs’ project in Botswana adds the extra dimension of glamour to grab the attention.

Click HERE for further details on the TSI DustTrak data logging systems or for further information contact the Instrument Solutions Hire Team on 01344 459314 or alternatively email sales@bis.fm

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