International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 56, Issue 6, pp 1113–1121 | Cite as

On the efficiency and correction of vertically oriented blunt bioaerosol samplers in moving air

  • Dominik MichelEmail author
  • Mathias W. Rotach
  • Regula Gehrig
  • Roland Vogt
Original Paper


The aspiration efficiency of vertical and wind-oriented Air-O-Cell samplers was investigated in a field study using the pollen of hazel, sweet chestnut and birch. Collected pollen numbers were compared to measurements of a Hirst-type Burkard spore trap. The discrepancy between pollen counts is substantial in the case of vertical orientation. The results indicate a strong influence of wind velocity and inlet orientation relative to the freestream on the aspiration efficiency. Various studies reported on inertial effects on aerosol motion as function of wind velocity. The measurements were compared to a physically based model for the limited case of vertical blunt samplers. Additionally, a simple linear model based on pollen counts and wind velocity was developed. Both correction models notably reduce the error of vertically oriented samplers, whereas only the physically based model can be used on independent datasets. The study also addressed the precision error of the instruments used, which was substantial for both sampler types.


Burkard sampler Air-O-Cell sampler Orifice orientation Birch pollen Field measurement 



Our great appreciation goes to the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action ES0603. Financial support for this project by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education and Research (SBF), grant C07.0111, and the Freiwillige Akademische Gesellschaft Basel, is gratefully acknowledged. Many thanks go to MeteoSwiss and the MCR Lab, University of Basel. Their contribution to the field campaigns and the pollen analysis is highly appreciated. The comments of an anonymous reviewer to a first draft of the present paper led to a substantial improvement of the results from this study and are greatly acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© ISB 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dominik Michel
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mathias W. Rotach
    • 2
    • 3
  • Regula Gehrig
    • 2
  • Roland Vogt
    • 1
  1. 1.Meteorology, Climatology and Remote SensingUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  2. 2.Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwissZurichSwitzerland
  3. 3.Institute of Meteorology and GeophysicsUniversity of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria

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