Measuring Light Air Ions in a Speleotherapeutic Cave

Z. Roubal 1 , K. Bartušek 2 , Z. Szabó 1 , P. Drexler 1 ,  und J. Überhuberová 3
  • 1 Department of Theoretical and Experimental Engineering, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Communication, Brno University of Technology, Technická, 3082/12, 61600, Brno, Czech Republic
  • 2 Institute of Scientific Instruments, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Kralovopolska, 147, 61200, Brno, Czech Republic
  • 3 Children’s Speleotherapy Medical Centre, South Moravian Children’s Medical Facilities (public benefit organisation), Ostrov u Macochy, 389, 67914, Ostrov u Macochy, Czech Republic

Abstract

The paper deals with a methodology proposed for measuring the concentration of air ions in the environment of speleotherapeutic caves, and with the implementation of the AK-UTEE-v2 ionmeter. Speleotherapy, in the context of its general definition, is the medical therapy that utilizes the climate of selected caves to treat patients with health problems such as asthma. These spaces are characterized by the presence of high air humidity and they make extreme demands on the execution of the measuring device, the Gerdien tube (GT in the following) in particular, and on the amplifier electronics. The result is an automated measuring system using a GT with low-volume air flow, enabling long-term measuring of air ion concentration and determination of spectral ion characteristics. Interesting from the instrumentation viewpoint are the GT design, active shielding, and execution of the electrometric amplifier. A specific method for the calculation of spectral ion characteristics and the mode of automatic calibration were proposed and a procedure of automatic measurement in the absence of attendants was set up. The measuring system is designed for studying and long-term monitoring of the concentration of light negative ions in dependence on climatic conditions and on the mobility of ions occurring in the cave.

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