How it Works

RapidScreen data collection units typically are set up near highway on-ramps and other state-approved sites where vehicles are likely to be driven by in a manner that allows for the most accurate collection of emissions-related data.  For example, sites are selected that will capture emissions-related data as a vehicle is accelerating or being driven uphill at a moderate speed.  Such conditions are likely to  produce the most representative sample of a vehicle’s emissions.

The RapidScreen data collection units are able to analyze a vehicle’s emissions in less than a second as it is driven by.  Here’s how:

Step One

A vehicle first passes through speed and acceleration detectors (3), while an image of the license plate (5)  is recorded for identification.

Step Two

A vehicle then passes through the infrared and ultraviolet beams of the emissions analyzer (2).  A laser light source directs the beams across the road, where they are bounced off (1) mirrors and directed back to a detector module.  As the light beams pass through a vehicle’s exhaust plume, the detector module measures the levels of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen in the plume.  This data (4) is matched to the license plate and an official record is created.

Step Three

To ensure accurate and uncontaminated readings, RapidScreen data collection units do not operated during periods of rain, snow, high winds or other adverse weather conditions.  RapidScreen data collection units are used to identify exceptionally “clean” vehicles and have stricter emissions limits than those of inspections performed at Air Care Colorado facilities.