Improved aerosol density sensor for use in laser ablation of microparticle aerosol
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The Laser Ablation of Microparticle Aerosol (LAMA) system in the Nanoparticle Research group at the University of Texas at Austin contains an aerosol density sensor (ADS) component that is critical to achieving accurate results when studying nanoparticle properties. The current ADS at work in the system has been found to possess some data accuracy concerns and a certain lack of usability. To improve on the design, a project was initiated to study the existing sensor to determine the weaknesses of the current design, derive a specific set of requirements for a new sensor, and complete the design and testing of a new ADS for use in the LAMA system. Overall, several major design areas were altered. A completely new LabVIEW data acquisition and processing application was created to monitor, log, and display the density data to the operator, several mechanical components were given additional features to preserve the density signal of the sensor, and the low-voltage DC power supply and signal processing circuitry were significantly redesigned. Advanced testing was performed on the final product to verify that it meets all requirements of the research group and is both reliable and accurate.
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