This article discusses the portable vehicle emissions detector, which is now beginning to be used on some roads in the USA. The detector is a suitcase-sized device, which can analyse exhaust emissions from thousands of vehicles per day, as they speed down a road. As a vehicle passes, it detects carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and smoke within a fraction of a second. Its output for each vehicle includes an image of the rear end and licence plate, to identify the vehicle model, year, and owner. It was invented by DH Stedman and his colleagues at the University of Denver. As a result of the USA's Clean Air Act amendments of 1990, many areas, not attaining Federal ozone standards, are required to introduce 'on-road' devices in addition to vehicle inspection and maintenance (I/M) programmes; tests of the technology have also begun outside the USA. The mobile detector uses an infrared and ultraviolet light source on one side of a road, and an optical detector on the other, and can photograph emissions from cars travelling at 2-152mph. Stedman believes that remote-testing devices are more effective, affordable, and efficient than stationary testing, and has used remote-sensing data to question the effectiveness of some I/M programmes.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    American Chemical Society

    1155 16th Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20036
  • Authors:
    • WOODS, M
  • Publication Date: 1996-6


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00726556
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Oct 28 1996 12:00AM