TTI’s Air Quality Program has a wide range of facilities and testing equipment that allow for many different types if emissions related research. The facilities also allow for non-emissions testing related to environmental factors, such as cold start testing, insulation performance testing, and A/C performance testing. This page outlines the different facilities and equipment that are available for testing.Return to Top
Environmental and Emissions Research Facility (EERF)
The EERF, located at the RELLIS Campus for Texas A&M University houses the different testing equipment and facilities that the Air Quality Program uses. Located on the former Bryan Air Force base the EERF has the space and capabilities needed to conduct many different types of emissions related testing.
Environmentally Controlled Test Chamber
TTI opened the EERF test chamber in January 2010. The development of the facility resulted from a collaborative effort from TTI, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), along with The Texas A&M University System. The facility is one of the largest drive-in environmental chambers in the country and can support a full size tractor-trailer or bus.
The main focus of the research conducted at the facility looks at technologies and strategies to improve air quality. The facility enables state and national policy makers to get reliable consistent information from a wide variety of testing.
The facility also conducts tests for private sectors sponsors. Testing includes cold starts, testing of insulated materials for shipping needs, testing of new emissions reduction technologies, as well as many other testing capabilities.
Facility Technical Specifications
- Temperature range: -20 °F to 131 °F (-28 °C to +55 °C)
- Relative humidity range: up to 70 percent at 104 °F (40 °C)
- 7,500 gross square feet
- Dimensions: 75′ × 23′ × 22′ (capable of holding a tractor-trailer or bus)
- Other equipment: solar loading lights and wind simulator fans
Environmental Facility Testing
The facility offers numerous opportunities for testing new vehicles, components and automotive products — as well as many other products — for their durability under severe temperature, humidity and other weather-like conditions. Tests cover areas such as:
- Emissions from vehicle idling for cars, trucks and buses, including “cold” starts
- Fuel consumption and emissions testing
- Hybrid technologies
- Clean fuels
- Vehicle components such as air conditioners, heaters and auxiliary power units
- Infiltration of pollutants into vehicles
- Emissions reduction technologies
- Evaporative emissions
- Alternative fuels
- Lubricants and oils
- Insulation materials
- Steel and concrete construction components
- Agricultural and food products
Schedule a Tour
Contact us to schedule a tour of the Environmental and Emissions Research Facility.
TTI has a movable chassis dyno available for testing. The dyno is able to be used as a stand alone device, or can be moved inside the EERF to allow for dyno testing at controlled temperature and humidity conditions. The dyno can support vehicles up to 9,000 lbs and speeds over 100 MPH. Dyno testing, when combined with the emissions equipment allows for the emissions testing of vehicles in the controlled environment. The dyno includes an eddy current absorber to allow for loads to be placed on the vehicle during testing. Contact us for more information on the dyno.
Portable Emissions Measurement System (PEMS)
TTI has a fully 1065 compliant PEMS available for both in use testing, as well as testing at the EERF. The system allows for TTI to conduct testing on a wide range of vehicles. The testing capabilities range from small engines, such as those found on an auxiliary power unit, to large engines such as a full size tractor-trailer or off-road construction equipment. The TTI PEMS has been used in various projects, including testing of alternative fueled vehicles, buses, sanitation vehicles, heavy duty trucks, conventional gasoline vehicles, as well as hybrid gas-electric vehicles.
ECOSTAR Gaseous PEMS from Sensors, Inc.
The ECOSTAR gaseous PEMS from Sensors, Inc. is a fully 1065 complaint PEMS system for gaseous measurements. The system measures Carbon Monoxide (CO), Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Oxides of Nitrogen (NO, NO2, NOX), and total hydrocarbons (THC). The modular design of the system allows for any different combination of the available gasses to be measured during testing. The unit also monitors and collects auxiliary devices, including GPS data, ambient temperature and humidity data, as well as on-board diagnostic data (OBD) from the test vehicle. The ECOSTAR system also includes flow meters to measure the exhaust flow during testing. This allows for the total weight of the gasses to be measured during testing. TTI’s system has three different flow meters to accommodate different engine sizes.
AVL PM PEMS
The AVL PM PEMS is an EPA approved PM measurement system for in-use testing. The system combines the AVL Micro Soot Sensor, a real-time soot measurement system that uses photo-acoustics, with a gravimetric that utilizes a filter. The system includes the robust Concerto post processing software from AVL that time resolves the real-time soot signal to the gravimetric measurement. The system also allows for the integration of the flow meters used with the gaseous system for total weight measurements.
BG-3 Partial Flow Dilution System
The BG-3 partial flow dilution system from Sierra Engineering, is a legally recognized alternative to a constant volume sampler (CVS) for measuring exhaust PM emissions. The BG-3 is a fully compliant 1065 system that measures PM emissions using a filter sampling media. The BG-3 is located at the EERF and can be used in conjunction with the environmental chamber for PM emissions testing of vehicles under different atmospheric conditions.
Filter Weigh Booth
All filters collected during testing at TTI are stored and weighed in the filter weigh chamber. The chamber, from Sierra Engineering, is a complete system that allows for the storage and measurement of collected PM filters per regulatory requirements. The chamber includes a MSE2.7S balance from Sartorius for measuring the filter samples.
Personal Exposure Devices
TTI has a set of personal exposure devices to monitor a persons exposure to different types of pollutants. The set of devices can be expanded to cover other pollutants as needed.
MicroAeth AE51 from AethLabs
The MicroAeth® AE51 is the first ever personal black carbon aerosol monitor. The AE51 unit is a pocket sized device that allows for a person to carry or wear the instrument on their person to give a real-time concentration of black carbon which they are being exposed to. The unit is fully self-sufficient, no other device is needed along with the AE51. The AE51 can also be used as in infiltration measurement system, to measure the internal black carbon concentration in closed areas, such as a small room or a bus. The unit uses light absorption change based on the collection of the sample on a Teflon coated filter to give a black carbon reading. The unit can be used for extended periods of time for long-term studies using an internal rechargeable battery.
Personal Nephelometer PM Monitor from Sensidyne
The Personal Nephelmeter from Sensidyne is a personal particulate matter (PM) monitor used to measure PM concentrations. The Nephelometer is provides real time PM concentrations using an internal pump to draw the sample into the measurement system and past the sensor. The Nephelometer uses a photo detector to measure laser light scatter from the sample. The unit is small enough for a person to carry, but can also be used for infiltration studies as a stationary device. The unit has an internal batter that allows for up to 12 hours of continuous use before needing to be recharged.