Abhay Vidwans  1,2, Pratim Biswas This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1 

1 Aerosol and Air Quality Research Laboratory, Department of Chemical, Environmental, and Materials Engineering, University of Miami, Coral Cables, FL 33146, USA
2 Department of Energy, Environmental, and Chemical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA

Received: June 4, 2023
Revised: September 3, 2023
Accepted: November 6, 2023

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.230129  

Cite this article:

Vidwans, A., Biswas, P. (2024). A Systematic, Cross-Model Evaluation of Ensemble Light Scattering Sensors. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.230129


  • Comparison of five ensemble light scattering sensors.
  • Determined sensitivity, precision, accuracy, saturation limit, and LOD.
  • Sensors exhibited different performance parameters despite identical optics.
  • Base model GP2Y1010 exhibited highest accuracy and excellent precision.
  • Sensitivity can be tuned by adjusting gain on Texas Instruments sensor.


The light scattering particulate matter sensor manufactured by Sharp Inc. (GP2Y1010AU0F) has been evaluated and compared to other commercial off-the-shelf sensors in previous studies and incorporated into commercial air quality monitors to measure aerosol concentration. Despite the popularity of this model, little attention has been given to the later models of the Sharp GP2Y sensor, whose optical chambers are identical but have modified circuitry with features such as enhanced sensitivity and precision. The signal processing front-end of the Sharp GP2Y was further modified by Texas Instruments in a robust analog front-end design with adjustable sensitivity. In this study, we examine six total sensors – the four currently available models of the Sharp GP2Y line dust sensors, and a sensor designed by the Texas Instruments set to two different sensitivity modes. Calibrations were performed in a simple aerosol chamber experiment, and correlations were performed to give rise to characteristic performance parameters of the sensor – sensitivity, precision, accuracy, saturation limit, and limit-of-detection. All six sensors had identical optics and geometry, isolating the effect of signal processing circuit topography on performance parameters for particulate matter measurement. Despite the identical optical chambers and components across the six light scattering sensors, all exhibited distinct performance parameters. Overall, the Sharp sensors performed consistently with the manufacturer claims; the GP2Y1023 exhibited the highest sensitivity (3.16*109 m2 W-1 light sensitivity, 0.492 m3 mg-1 mass sensitivity) and the GP2Y1014 exhibited the highest precision (± 10% above 400 mg m-3). The Texas Instruments versions of the sensor exhibited significantly lower sensitivity (< 0.1 m2 W-1 light sensitivity and < 0.03 m3 mg-1) than all Sharp GP2Y sensors, particularly when adjusted to low-gain mode. The low sensitivity of the Texas Instruments sensors makes them well-suited for high concentration environments. This study demonstrates how the performance of light scattering sensors can be readily quantified and how these parameters relate to the point-of-use.

Keywords: Sensor, Light scattering, Low-cost sensor, COTS sensor, Particulate matter

Share this article with your colleagues 


Subscribe to our Newsletter 

Aerosol and Air Quality Research has published over 2,000 peer-reviewed articles. Enter your email address to receive latest updates and research articles to your inbox every second week.

Aerosol and Air Quality Research (AAQR) is an independently-run non-profit journal that promotes submissions of high-quality research and strives to be one of the leading aerosol and air quality open-access journals in the world. We use cookies on this website to personalize content to improve your user experience and analyze our traffic. By using this site you agree to its use of cookies.