NARSTO_EPA_SS_BALTIMORE_RAPID_SPMS_DATA is the North American Research Strategy for Tropospheric Ozone (NARSTO) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Supersite (SS) Baltimore, Rapid Single-Particle Mass Spectrometer (RSMS) Data product. This data product was
obtained in 2002 at the Baltimore Supersite. For 7 months, starting in May 2002, individual aerosol particles were sized and analyzed using a RSMS in Baltimore. RSMS aerodynamically focuses one particle size at a time to the source region of a mass spectrometer and employs a 193 nm excimer laser to desorb and ionize the particle components. The ions are analyzed in a dual time-of-flight mass spectrometer and the spectrum is digitally recorded. Spectra are only saved if the ion peak in the spectrum is above a threshold level. Background spectra were determined and flagged. Particle size scans were periodically initiated and each size was sampled until 30 particle hits were obtained, unless the sampling time became excessive. Aerodynamic particle sizes ranged from about 40 to 1300 nm and were partitioned into nine discrete size classes logarithmically spaced, roughly, over the range.
Single particle data are valuable because for the following reasons:
- they are collected and analyzed real time so have excellent temporal resolution,
- the particle-to-particle composition variations (external mixing properties) can be assessed, and
- key particle sources are easily identified since the particles retain source characteristics.
The data resulting from these measurements consist of an aerodynamic particle size and a positive and negative mass spectrum of the components for each particle, along with the date and time of measurement and other incidental measurement parameters such as the laser pulse energy. Support for RSMS measurements were provided by the EPA Supersites program and additional funding from the EPA.
The EPA PM Supersites Program was an ambient air monitoring research program from 1999-2004 designed to provide information of value to the atmospheric sciences, and human health and exposure research communities. Eight geographically diverse projects were chosen to specifically address the following EPA research priorities: (1) to characterize PM, its constituents, precursors, co-pollutants, atmospheric transport, and its source categories that affect the PM in any region; (2) to address the research questions and scientific uncertainties about PM source-receptor and exposure-health effects relationships; and (3) to compare and evaluate different methods of characterizing PM including testing new and emerging measurement methods.
NARSTO, which has since disbanded, was a public/private partnership, whose membership spanned across government, utilities, industry, and academe throughout Mexico, the United States, and Canada. The primary mission was to coordinate and enhance policy-relevant scientific research and assessment of tropospheric pollution behavior; activities provide input for science-based decision-making and determination of workable, efficient, and effective strategies for local and regional air-pollution management. Data products from local, regional, and international monitoring and research programs are still available.