Scanning Actinic Flux Spectroradiometers

The SAFS instruments determine wavelength dependent actinic flux from 280-420 nm. The actinic flux in combination with the absorption cross section and quantum yield molecular data will be used to calculate the photolysis frequencies of multiple photochemically important molecular processes, including O3, NO2, HONO, CH2O, H2O2, CH3OOH, HNO3, PAN, CH3NO3, CH3CH2NO3, and CH3COCH3.

The SAFS measurement is based on a 2p steradian hemisphere hemispherical quartz light collector, a double monochromator, and a low dark current photomultiplier. The monochromator employs dual 2400 G/mm gratings which produce a 1 nm FWHM spectral resolution and very low straylight. The instrument package on the aircraft includes two independent, but time synchronized (IRIG-B) spectroradiometer systems to measure the up- and down-welling fluxes in a 10 second scan time. Summing these produces the spherically integrated actinic flux.

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Non-dispersed Infrared Airborne CO2 Detector

NIRAD consists of three systems: (1) CO2 detector, (2) power and data acquisition, and (3) gas-handling. All three systems have flown previously. The CO2 detector was first flown in 1999 as part of CORE+ instrument during RISO and ACCENT and again in 2004 during PUMA-A. There have been no changes to the detector, other than inspection and routine maintenance. The power and data acquisition system were new for PUMA-A, and are flown here without change, other than to software. The gas-handling system is the same as that flown in May 2004, except that it is now packaged into a single box that contains the detector and power/data system.

The detector is packaged in a vacuum housing to facilitate management of temperature and pressure. At power-up the housing is pumped down to ~300 hPa by one stage of a diaphragm pump and held at this pressure throughout the flight. Thus, at pressure altitudes < 300 hPa the pressure within the housing is above ambient. By design, if the pressure differential is significantly greater than about 5 psi, the O-ring seals leak. A redundant additional mechanical safety relief valve (set for ~15 psi or less) is placed on the housing.

Two 1.2 L epoxy-coated, fiber-wrapped aluminum bottles (DOT rated and certified) are filled to ~1600 psi before flight with zero air doped with CO2. These ‘standards’ are sampled repeatedly during flight to provide an accurate standard for reference to the NOAA/CMDL CO2 scale. Two-stage regulators provide a service pressure of ~25-30 psig throughout flight. The bottles and regulators are backed with safety relief valves.

The diaphragm pump is current-limited for a ‘soft start’ (that is, there is no electrical surge on startup, allowing for use of compact, highly efficient Vicor VI-100 DC/DC converters.

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Intensified High Definition TV Near-UV Spectrograph

NUV measures near-UV emissions of N2+ and CN molecules from air plasma and ablation products.

This instrument consists of an intensified high definition TV camera equipped with a transmission grating with 600 grooves per mm, blazed at 550 nm, made by Jobin Yvon. The camera has a blue sensitive 1-inch 2M-pixel FIT CCD, which has a resolution of 1150 TV lines. A 50 mm f1.0 lens provides a large 37 x 21 degree field of view. No coaligned camera is needed.

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High-Sensitivity Fast-Response CO2 Analyzer

The high-sensitivity fast response CO2 instrument measures CO2 concentrations in situ using the light source, gas cells, and solid-state detector from a modified nondispersive infrared CO2 analyzer (Li-Cor, Inc., Lincoln, NE). These components are stabilized along the detection axis, vibrationally isolated, and housed in a temperature-controlled pressure vessel. Sample air enters a rear-facing inlet, is preconditioned using a Nafion drier (to remove water vapor), then is compressed by a Teflon diaphragm pump. A second water trap, using dry ice, reduces the sample air dewpoint to less than 70C prior to detection. The CO2 mixing ratio of air flowing through the sample gas cell is determined by measuring absorption at 4.26 microns relative to a reference gas of known concentration. In-flight calibrations are performed by replacing the air sample with reference gas every 10 minutes, with a low-span and a high-span gas every 20 minutes, and with a long-term primary standard every 2 hours. The long-term standard is used sparingly and serves as a check of the flight-to-flight accuracy and precision of the measurements, augmented by ground-based calibrations before and after flights.

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JPL Laser Hygrometer

The JPL Laser Hygrometer (JLH) is an autonomous spectrometer to measure atmospheric water vapor from airborne platforms. It is designed for high-altitude scientific flights of the NASA ER-2 aircraft to monitor upper tropospheric (UT) and lower stratospheric (LS) water vapor for climate studies, atmospheric chemistry, and satellite validation. JLH will participate in the NASA SEAC4RS field mission this year. The light source for JLH is a near-infrared distributed feedback (DFB) tunable diode laser that scans across a strong water vapor vibrational-rotational combination band absorption line in the 1.37 micrometer band. Both laser and detector are temperature‐stabilized on a thermoelectrically-cooled aluminum mount inside an evacuated metal housing. A long optical path is folded within a Herriott Cell for sensitivity to water vapor in the UT and LS. A Herriott cell is an off-axis multipass cell using two spherical mirrors [Altmann et al., 1981; Herriott et al., 1964]. The laser beam enters the Herriott cell through a hole in the mirror that is closest to the laser. The laser beam traverses many passes of the Herriott cell and then returns through the same mirror hole to impinge on a detector.

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Multiple-Angle Aerosol Spectrometer Probe

The Multiple-Angle Aerosol Spectrometer Probe (MASP) determines the size and concentration of particles from about 0.3 to 20 microns in diameter and the index of refraction for selected sizes. Size is determined by measuring the light intensity scattered by individual particles as they transit a laser beam of 0.780µm wavelength. Light scattered from particles into a cone from 30 to 60 degrees forward and 120 to 150 degrees backwards is reflected by a mangin mirror through a condensing lens to the detectors. A comparison of the signals from the open aperture detector and the masked aperture detector is used to accept only those particles passing through the center of the laser beam. The size of the particle is determined from the total scattered light. The index of refraction of particles can be estimated from the ratio of the forward to back scatter signals. A calibration diode laser is pulsed periodically during flight to ensure proper operation of the electronics. The shrouded inlet minimizes angle of attack effects and maintains isokinetic flow through the sensing volume so that volatilization of particles is eliminated.

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Isotope Ratio Infrared Spectrometer

IRIS is an ultra sensive laser spectrometer for in situ detection of the isotopic composition of water vapor in the higher tropopause and the lower stratosphere. The isotope signals may be used to quantify troposphere-stratosphere exchange, and to study the water chemistry in the stratosphere. IRIS is based on the technique of optical-feedback cavity enhanced absorption spectroscopy. It uses a room temperature infrared laser, needing no crygens. The instrument combines a low weight (< 50 kg) and volume (< 50 L) with a low power consumption (< 200 W), making it uniquely suitable for future deployment on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.

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Differential Absorption Carbon monOxide Measurement

The in‐situ diode laser spectrometer system, referred to by its historical name DACOM, includes three tunable diode lasers providing 4.7, 4.5, and 3.3 μm radiation for accessing CO, N2O, and CH4 absorption lines, respectively. The three laser beams are combined by the use of dichroic filters and are then directed through a small volume (0.3 liter) Herriott cell enclosing a 36 meter optical path. As the three coincident laser beams exit the absorption cell, they are spectrally isolated using dichroic filters and are then directed to individual detectors, one for each laser wavelength. Wavelength reference cells containing CO, CH4, and N2O are used to wavelength lock the operation of the three lasers to the appropriate absorption lines. Ambient air is continuously drawn through a Rosemount inlet probe and a permeable membrane dryer which removes water vapor before entering the Herriott cell and subsequently being exhausted via a vacuum pump to the aircraft cabin. To minimize potential spectral overlap from other atmospheric species, the Herriott cell is maintained at a reduced pressure of ~90 Torr. At 5 SLPM mass flow rate, the absorption cell volume is exchanged nominally twice per second. Frequent but short calibrations with well documented and stable reference gases are critical to achieving both high precision and accuracy. Calibration for all species is accomplished by periodically (~4 minutes) flowing calibration gas through this instrument. Measurement accuracy is closely tied to the accuracy of the reference gases obtained from NOAA/ESRL, Boulder, CO. Both CO and CH4 mixing ratios are provided in real-time to investigators aboard the DC‐8.

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Cloud Spectrometer and Impactor

The Cloud Spectrometer and Impactor (CSI) combines the counterflow virtual impactor with a new lightweight cloud droplet probe to allow for detailed studies of total condensed water (TCW), liquid and ice, in clouds. The CSI can measure TCW from ~ 1 mg/m3 to several g/m3 depending on the configuration; in addition particle sizes from 2 to 50 μm are resolved with the droplet probe. The instrumentation can be mounted externally on most aircraft.

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Carbon Dioxide Laser Absorption Spectrometer

The CO2LAS instrument was jointly developed by JPL and Lockheed Martin Coherent Technologies under funding from the NASA Earth Science Technology Office Instrument Incubator Program.

The instrument uses three continuous-wave (c.w.) Th:Ho:YLF lasers, one of which is used as an absolute frequency reference and is locked to a carbon dioxide absorption line in an internal gas cell using a phase modulation spectroscopy scheme. The remaining two lasers are offset frequency locked from the reference laser to provide the online and offline beams that are propagated through the atmosphere. The online and offline beams are expanded to an eye-safe level and transmitted to the ground where they are reflected back to the instrument, collected by the receive optics and detected. The use of the offset frequency-locking scheme together with the absolute frequency reference enables the absolute frequency of the online and offline lasers to be held to within 200 kHz of the desired values. The CO2LAS transceiver uses separate co-axial transmit/receive paths for each of the on-line and off-line channels.

A Doppler frequency shift is induced between the outgoing and return signals by pointing the transmit beams slightly off nadir. This frequency offset, together with a polarization transmit/receive architecture, ensures the receive signals are separated from the transmit signals by both polarization and frequency. The nominal Doppler offset is 15 MHz but this will vary as the aircraft attitude changes. The return signals on each channel are digitized and stored during flight for post-processing. Throughput of the data collection system was increased from ~8% to >20% between 2006 and 2007.

In order to ensure the instrument remains stable, the output power and frequency of all three lasers are monitored. The output power values for the online and offline lasers are used in the determination of the on-line and off-line absorption as part of the LAS measurement. The output power value for the reference laser is used primarily as a laser health status to check the integrity of the CO2 line center lock.

The electronics for the CO2LAS are mounted in two racks that typically mount to the seat rails of the host aircraft. One rack contains the control electronics for the transceiver system, laser controller, frequency locking electronics and provides the user interface for the overall system.

The second rack houses the chiller that supplies the optical transceiver with coolant and the signal processor which receives housekeeping data from the electronics rack, and digitizes, stores and analyzes the lidar return signal. The CO2LAS uses a Gigabit Ethernet system to distribute data across the system and to other computers that can be connected into the gigabit hub located in the back of one of the racks.

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