11 September 2003

US EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality has awarded Horiba Instruments a contract to supply OBS-1000 on-board test systems as part of a program to measure emissions from heavy-duty diesel truck engines during real-world driving conditions. The test program will permit EPA to determine whether selected classes of truck engines comply with federal emissions standards.

Owners and operators of heavy-duty vehicle fleets in the Mid-Atlantic states are being asked to voluntarily submit 1999 or newer vehicles for testing, which will be conducted with the OBS-1000 by the Department of Army’s Aberdeen Test Center in Maryland under contract to the EPA. Some of the fleets cooperating with EPA on this program include the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, Herr Foods, Delaware Department of Transportation, and Roadway Express.

The OBS-1000 will measure mass emissions and air-to-fuel-ratio while vehicles are operated on the road. A GPS receiver and other sensors will provide position data and an overview of the driving environment. EPA plans to use the data to evaluate emission control systems, provide feedback to engine manufacturers, and assess strategies for improving air pollution control programs.

In-use emission testing is expected to become increasingly important in the future. Development of in-use testing methods for heavy-duty vehicles was recently a subject of agreement between the EPA, California ARB, and engine manufacturers.

Source: Horiba