VIU Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity

Mobile Mass Spectrometry Facility

Our brand new, state-of-the-art, mobile mass spectrometry facility, one of only a few in Canada, made its inaugural road trip this fall.  The mobile lab has been custom fitted with specialized, ruggedized mass spectrometry instrumentation that will provide high precision measurements of chemicals that are important indicators of environmental and human health.  On-board global positioning information is interlaced with instrument data to yield real-time contaminant concentrations which can be visualized on geo-spatial scales. Further, the lab, accessorized with a suite of meteorological and air/water quality sensors, can be used for rapid in-field analysis, continuous process monitoring and real-time mapping of chemical contaminants in Google Earth. The data, resolved in both time and space, and of unprecedented density, can inform environmental assessments, adaptive sampling, emergency response, exposure studies, plume tracking and source apportionment.  The mobile mass spectrometry laboratory was funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF) and Vancouver Island University. The inaugural road trip will examine air quality on Vancouver Island, the lower BC mainland and the Fraser Valley, thanks to funding from the Fraser Basin Council and Mitacs.