Openair Data Definitions
Data are all ratified. All units are expressed in mass terms for gaseous species (ug/m3 for NO, NO2, NOx (as NO2), SO2 and mg/m3 for CO).
PM10 concentrations are provided in gravimetric units of ug/m3 or scaled to be comparable with these units. Over the years a variety of instruments have been used to measure particulate matter and the technical issues of measuring PM10 are complex. In recent years the measurements rely on FDMS (Filter Dynamics Measurement System), which is able to measure the volatile component of PM. In cases where the FDMS system is in use there will be a separate volatile component recorded as 'v10', which is already included in the absolute PM10 measurement.
Prior to the use of FDMS the measurements used TEOM (Tapered Element Oscillating. Microbalance) and these concentrations have been multiplied by 1.3 to provide an estimate of the total mass including the volatile fraction. The few BAM (Beta-Attenuation Monitor) instruments that have been incorporated into the network throughout its history have been scaled by 1.3 if they have a heated inlet (to account for loss of volatile particles) and 0.83 if they do not have a heated inlet. The few TEOM instruments in the network after 2008 have been scaled using VCM (Volatile Correction Model) values to account for the loss of volatile particles.
The object of all these scaling processes is to provide a reasonable degree of comparison between data sets and with the reference method and to produce a consistent data record over the operational period of the network, however there may be some discontinuity in the time series associated with instrument changes.
PM2.5 measurements are similar to PM10, except no correction factor has been applied to any PM2.5 data regardless of the instrument. The volatile component of PM2.5 (where available) is shown in the 'v2.5' column.