Assessment of the Equivalence of Low-Cost Sensors with the Reference Method in Measuring PM10 Concentration Using Selected Correction Functions

Tomasz Owczarek, Mariusz Rogulski, Piotr O. Czechowski

The aim of the work is to demonstrate the possibility of building models to correct the results of measurements of particulate matter PM10 concentrations obtained using low-cost devices. Such devices apply the optical method to values comparable with those obtained using the reference gravimetric method. An additional goal is to show that the results corrected in this way can be used to carry out the procedure for testing equivalence of these methods. The study used generalized regression models (GRMs) to construct corrective functions. The constructed models were assessed using the coefficients of determination and the methodology of calculating the measurement uncertainty of the device. Measurement data from the two tested devices and the reference method were used to estimate model parameters. The measurement data were collected on a daily basis from 1 February to 30 June 2018 in Nowy Sącz. Regression allowed building multiple models with various functional forms and very promising statistical properties as well as good ability to describe the variability of reference measurements. These models also had very low values of measurement uncertainty. Of all the models constructed, a linear model using the original PM10 concentrations from the tested devices, air humidity, and wind speed was chosen as the most accurate and simplest model. Apart from the coefficient of determination, expanded relative uncertainty served as the measure of quality of the obtained model. Its small value, much lower than 25%, indicates that after correcting the results it is possible to carry out the equivalence testing procedure for the low-cost devices and confirm the equivalence of the tested method with the reference method.

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