Degree Name



Mechanical Engineering


Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology

Defense Date


Publication Date


First Faculty Advisor

Matthew R. Jones

First Faculty Reader

Timothy W. McLain

Honors Coordinator

Brian D. Jensen


OPC, Cookstove, Uncertainty, Polystyrene Latex, Calibration


To mitigate the health problems and environmental damage caused by the burning of biomass in homes across the developing world, there is an international effort to design clean burning cookstoves that burn with greater efficiency and emit fewer harmful substances. An important tool for gauging the effectiveness of these alternate stoves is the optical particulate counting (OPC) sensor, which comes in many varieties. To facilitate comparison between measurements from different models, a mathematical model and uncertainty analysis method for OPC’s have been developed. These may be applied to any light-scattering OPC. In addition, a low-cost physical system was developed to test OPC’s and collect measurements necessary to quantify their uncertainty. The system atomizes a known concentration of 0.46 μm polystyrene latex (PSL) spheres into a control volume containing the sensors. A description of the system and the efforts to improve it are described. Future work will contribute to improving the predictability of the system such that it can be used to perform calibrations for various low-cost OPC’s.