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Electronica 2016: smart dust sensor designed for indoor air quality monitoring

The Smart Dust Sensor, a high-tech, particle detection device designed for indoor air quality monitoring, has been unveiled at this year’s Electronica trade show.

Designed by Amphenol Advanced Sensors Telaire product line, the Smart Dust Sensor, also known as SM-PWM-01C, combines infra-red sensing technology with special algorithms to differentiate between small and large particle sizes.

“The reliable sensor design is based on 20 years of engineering and manufacturing expertise”, said Chris Ranwell, global product manager for Telaire. “It can be used in all applications that require detection of particulates that decrease air quality”. 

At 59mm wide and weighing only 20g, the product is small, but is said to match the accuracy and reliability of many larger sensors. The sensor detects particle concentration in the air by using an infrared light-emitting diode (IR LED) and a photo-sensor. The IR LED is shone into the air and reflected by any present dust particles. This information is then detected by the photo-sensor.

Where it differs from other sensors of its size is in the ability to detect very small particles measuring just one micrometre, such as those found in cigarette smoke, as well as larger particles such as house dust (typically 20 micrometres).

Following detection, the sensor provides a signal in proportion to both particle size and concentration, which can be translated into data on the concentration of dust, smoke and other particles present within indoor environments.

The product could be implemented into the design of a range of devices which depend on air quality monitoring, including household air purifiers and smoke detection applications. In the future, with further developments, the sensor could also be optimised for use in outdoor environments, for use in pollution monitoring.

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