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Performance and Environmental Correction of a Low-Cost NDIR CO2 Sensor



Cory Martin, Ning Zeng, Anna Karion, Russell R. Dickerson, Xinrong Ren, Bari Turpie, Kristy Weber


Abstract. Non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) sensors are a low-cost way to observe carbon dioxide concentrations in ambient air, but their specified accuracy and precision are not sufficient for some scientific applications. An initial evaluation of six SenseAir K30 carbon dioxide NDIR sensors in a lab setting showed that without any calibration or correction, the sensors have an individual error between approximately 5 to 21 parts per million (ppm) when compared to a Los Gatos Research greenhouse gas analyzer that uses cavity enhanced laser absorption spectroscopy. Through further evaluation, after correcting for environmental variables with coefficients determined through a multivariate linear regression analysis, the calculated difference between the K30 NDIR sensor and the higher-precision instrument had a standard deviation of between 1.6 and 4.4 parts per million (ppm), depending on the individual sensor. Thus, after individual correction and calibration, the K30 sensor has the potential to complement traditional higher precision but high cost instruments in certain observation applications.
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques


Martin, C. , Zeng, N. , Karion, A. , Dickerson, R. , Ren, X. , Turpie, B. and Weber, K. (2017), Performance and Environmental Correction of a Low-Cost NDIR CO2 Sensor, Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, [online], (Accessed July 14, 2024)


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Created July 2, 2017, Updated October 12, 2021