On April 12th and 13th, 2023, we installed a new measuring device on a measuring terrace on the Sonnblick: a "Poleno" from the company Swisens, provided by the University of Vienna as part of the VINAR cooperation.
The transport of the massive weatherproof housing presented us with a brief challenge. In well-coordinated teamwork, we were finally able to transport all the heavy parts via the tower to the uppermost measuring terrace using a cable winch and complete the assembly just in time before the snow began to fall. We still had to adjust the Poleno itself in the laboratory and adapt the flow settings to the low pressure at 3000m altitude.
The device now provides us with valuable measurement data of atmospheric aerosol particles in real time. A combination of holographic images of the individual particles and fluorescence measurements enables the detection of bioaerosols in the air at Sonnblick, such as pollen.
It is the first time that a Poleno is operated at such a high altitude and we are very excited about the first measurement results. Together with the University of Vienna, we will also work on the development of new algorithms that should enable the detection of other aerosol particles (e.g. microplastics or mineral dust) in real time.