After a successful first year in which it demonstrated the potential of operating real-time particle sensors in engine exhaust systems, the Particle Sensor Performance and Durability (PSPD) consortium will focus its second year of research on improving the sensors’ durability and reliability. Dr. Imad Khalek, Senior Program Manager in Southwest Research Institute’s Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division, and Principal Investigator of the PSPD consortium, is seeking new members. "The best value for consortium members will require cooperation and contributions from engine and sensor manufacturers, as well as other stakeholders," he said. "More thorough evaluation can be performed if participation in the consortium expands. The objective is not to identify one winner, but rather to clearly identify unique characteristics that may be more beneficial for specific applications." Khalek further stated that the consortium’s goal is to develop PM sensors for production engine emissions systems that will provide value similar to that of NOx sensors. First-year research focused on investigating the performance of the spark-plug-sized exhaust particle sensors at different levels of engine exhaust velocity, temperature, particle concentration, electric charge, and size distribution. Short-term sensor survivability also was measured during various operating conditions. For more information, contact Khalek at (210) 522-2536 or Ikhalek@swri.org.