Environmental Systems Corporation 
COMPANY/LOCATION: Environmental Systems Corporation, Knoxville, Tennessee 
PRODUCT: Environmental and energy-related products and services for pollution monitoring and energy production 
SITUATION:   Environmental Systems Corporation (ESC) has several divisions, including a product and systems division, working in various environmentally related services. Products include data acquisition systems for environmental monitoring of meteorological, ambient air stacks, and water quality (both hardware and software). The company also manufactures a particulate emissions monitoring instrument called a P-5A for measuring dust levels in smokestacks. This patented instrument was first produced in 1978. 
PROJECT:       Because significant improvements have been made in particulate emissions control in the past 15 years, the current levels of emissions now approach the detection limits of ESC's instrument. The company is working on a new generation of optics to increase the sensitivity of the instrument to meet industrial needs and to compete with new instruments introduced by foreign suppliers. 

Within the physical limitations of the existing instrument, standard optical elements do not provide the precision focusing needed. ESC is using the unique capabilities of the Precision Single Point Turning Laboratory at the Ultraprecision Manufacturing Technology Center at the Oak Ridge Centers for Manufacturing Technology to design, fabricate and characterize a custom lens under the sponsorship of the National Machine Tool Partnership Program. 

RESULTS:       The existing instrument's optics have been evaluated and a custom lens design completed. Robert J. Nuspliger, product manager for the P-5A, said the company "hopes to complete the fabrication and characterization of the new system in the next few weeks and expects to see the instrument sensitivity improved by a factor of 5 to 10. We are very excited about the commercial potential of the new system." 

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