Synonyms: 
Ozone
O3 Column

Airborne Emission Spectrometer

Targeting Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) measuring infrared spectra from 4.5 to 13.4 µm. AES was the airborne testbed for the EOS/Aura TES instrument and operated ~1994-2000.

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Rapid Ozone Experiment

The NASA Rapid OZone Experiment (ROZE) is an in situ instrument capable of measuring ozone (O3) throughout the troposphere and lower stratosphere on airborne platforms. The instrument uses cavity-enhanced absorption to measure the amount of ozone in a sampled volume flowing through an optical cell. The high-sensitivity of the cavity-enhanced detection scheme and the small sample volume enable high precision measurements in short integration times, making this instrument suitable for measuring O3 fluxes (the exchange between the Earth's surface and atmosphere) with the eddy covariance technique. The instrument is designed for autonomous operation and requires minimal support (and no gases or dry ice) in the field. An inlet mounted in the free stream is needed to sample ambient air.

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Alpha Jet Ozone Instrument

Alpha Jet (O3) Ozone instrument details

Measurements of ozone (O3) mixing ratios are performed using a commercial O3 monitor (2B Technologies Inc., model 205 (http://www.twobtech.com/model_205.htm)) based on ultraviolet (UV) absorption techniques and modified for flight worthiness. The dual-beam instrument uses two detection cells to simultaneously measure UV light intensity differences between O3-scrubbed air and un-scrubbed air to give precise measurements of O3. The monitor has been modified by upgrading the pressure sensor and pump to allow measurements at high altitudes, including a lamp heater to improve the stability of the UV source, and the addition of heaters, temperature controllers and vibration isolators to control the monitor’s physical environment.

Ozone inlet

The air intake is through Teflon tubing (perfluroalkoxy-polymer, PFA) with a backward-facing inlet positioned on the underside of the instrument wing pod. Air is delivered through a 5 µm PTFE (polytetrafluroethylene) membrane filter to remove fine particles prior to analysis.

Ozone instrument calibrations:

The O3 monitor has undergone thorough instrument testing in the laboratory to determine the precision, linearity and overall accuracy. Eight-point calibration tests (ranging from 0 – 300 ppbv) are typically performed before and after each flight using an O3 calibration source (2B Technologies, model 306 referenced to the WMO scale). The calibration of all 2B Technologies Ozone Calibration Sources is traceable to NIST through an unbroken chain of comparisons and is sent back to the vendor annually for calibration. Calibrations in a pressure- and temperature-controlled environmental chamber have also been carried out using the O3 calibration source over the pressure range 200 - 800 mbar and temperature range -15 to +25 ⁰C; typical pressure and temperature ranges observed in the wing-mounted instrument pod during flight.

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Spectrometer for Sky-Scanning, Sun-Tracking Atmospheric Research

4STAR (Spectrometers for Sky-Scanning Sun-Tracking Atmospheric Research; Dunagan et al., 2013) is an airborne sun-sky spectrophotometer measuring direct solar beam transmittance (i.e., 4STAR determines direct solar beam transmission by detecting direct solar irradiance) and narrow field-of-view sky radiance to retrieve and remotely sense column-integrated and, in some cases, vertically resolved information on aerosols, clouds, and trace gases. The 4STAR team is a world leader in airborne sun-sky photometry, building on 4STAR’s predecessor instrument, AATS-14 (the NASA Ames Airborne Tracking Sun photometers; Matsumoto et al., 1987; Russell et al. 1999, and cited in more than 100 publication) and greatly expanding aerosol observations from the ground-based AERONET network of sun-sky photometers (Holben et al., 1998) and the Pandora network of ground-based direct-sun and sky spectrometer (e.g, Herman et al., 2009).

4STAR is used to quantify the attenuated solar light (from 350 to 1650 nm) and retrieve properties of various atmospheric constituents: spectral Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) from ultraviolet to the shortwave infrared (e.g., LeBlanc et al., 2020, Shinozuka et al., 2013); aerosol intensive properties - Single Scattering Albedo (SSA; e.g., Pistone et al., 2019), asymmetry parameter, scattering phase function, absorption angstrom exponent, size distribution, and index of refraction; various column trace gas components (NO2, Ozone, Water Vapor; e.g., Segal-Rosenheimer et al., 2014, with potential for SO2 and CH2O); and cloud optical depth, effective radius and thermodynamic phase (e.g., LeBlanc et al., 2015).

Some examples of the science questions that 4STAR have pursued in the past and will continue to address:

  • What is the Direct Aerosol Radiative Effect on climate and its uncertainty? (1)
  • How much light is absorbed by aerosol emitted through biomass burning? (1)
  • How does heating of the atmosphere by absorbing aerosol impact large scale climate and weather patterns? (1)
  • How does the presence of aerosol impact Earth’s radiative transfer, with co-located high concentration of trace gas? (2, 4)
  • What is the impact of air quality from long-range transport of both aerosol particulates and column NO2 and Ozone, and their evolution? (2, 5)
  • What are the governing properties and spatial patterns of local and transported aerosol? (1)
  • How are cloud properties impacted near the sea-ice edge? (3)
  • In heterogeneous environments where clouds and aerosols are present, how much solar radiation is impacted by 3D radiative transfer? And how does that impact the aerosol properties? (4)

(1) ORACLES: Zuidema et al., doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00082.1., 2016; LeBlanc et al., doi:10.5194/acp-20-1565-2020, 2020; Pistone et al., https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-142, 2019;Cochrane et al., https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-12-6505-2019, 2019; Shinozuka et al., https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1007, In review; Shinozuka et al., https://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/acp-2019-678/, In review
(2) KORUS-AQ: Herman et al., doi:10.5194/amt-11-4583-2018, 2018
(3) ARISE: Smith et al.,
https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-14-00277.1, 2017; Segal-Rosenheimer et al., doi:10.1029/2018JD028349, 2018
(4) SEAC4RS: Song et al., doi: 10.5194/acp-16-13791-2016, 2016; Toon et al., https://doi.org/10.1002/2015JD024297, 2016
(5) TCAP: Shinozuka et al., doi:10.1002/2013JD020596, 2013; Segal-Rosenheimer et al., doi:10.1002/2013JD020884, 2014

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NOAA Nitrogen Oxides and Ozone

The NOAA NOyO3 4-channel chemiluminescence (CL) instrument will provide in-situ measurements of nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), total reactive nitrogen oxides (NOy), and ozone (O3) on the NASA DC-8 during the FIREX-AQ project. Different versions of this instrument have flown on the NASA DC-8 and NOAA WP-3D research aircraft on field projects since 1995. It provides fast-response, specific, high precision, and calibrated measurements of nitrogen oxides and ozone at a spatial resolution of better than 100m at typical DC-8 research flight speeds. Detection is based on the gas-phase CL reaction of NO with O3 at low pressure, resulting in photoemission from electronically excited NO2. Photons are detected and quantified using pulse counting techniques, providing ~5 to 10 part-per-trillion by volume (pptv) precision at 1 Hz data rates. One detector of the integrated 4-channel instrument is used to measure ambient NO directly, a second detector is equipped with a UV-LED converter to photodissociate ambient NO2 to NO, and a third detector is equipped with a heated gold catalyst to reduce ambient NOy species to NO. Reagent ozone is added to these sample streams to drive the CL reactions with NO. Ambient O3 is detected in the fourth channel by adding reagent NO.

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HAIS Fast-O3

The operating principle of the O3 instrument is the measurement of chemiluminescence from the reaction of nitric oxide (NO) with ambient O3 using a dry-ice cooled, red-sensitive photomultiplier employing photon counting electronics. The reagent NO (grade > 99%) is supplied from a commercially purchased lecture bottle filled to a maximum pressure of 500 psig. Since NO is a toxic gas, the small high pressure cylinder, its regulator, and several safety features are contained inside a specially designed pressure safe vessel that is vented overboard the aircraft. Ambient air is sampled through a standard HIMIL inlet protruding outside the aircraft boundary layer. Ambient air sample flow is controlled to 500 sccm, while the NO reagent is introduced to the reaction vessel in near-excess flow of ~ 4 sccm. Gas flows as well as the reaction vessel temperature (35 ± 0.1°C) and pressure (10 ± 0.05 torr) are all controlled at constant conditions resulting in maximum stability of the detected signal and instrument sensitivity. The instrument sensitivity (~2000 cps/ppbv) is determined from calibrations performed on the ground before and after each flight or set of back-to-back flights using a UV absorption based calibrator (TECO model 49PS) operated with high-quality ultra-pure air. A near-linear calibration curve is generated in 100 ppb intervals from 0 to 1 ppm. This calibration range is sufficient to measure O3 mixing ratios over the altitude range of the aircraft.

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Gulfstream V - NSF
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NCAR NOxyO3

The NCAR NOxyO3 instrument is a 4-channel chemiluminescence instrument for the measurement of NO, NO2, NOy, and O3. NOx (NO and NO2) is critical to fast chemical processes controlling radical chemistry and O3 production. Total reactive nitrogen (NOy = NO + NO2 + HNO3 + PANs + other organic nitrates + HO2NO2 + HONO + NO3 + 2*N2O5 + particulate NO3- + …) is a useful tracer for characterizing air masses since it has a tendency to be conserved during airmass aging, as NOx is oxidized to other NOy species.

NOx (NO and NO2), NOy (total reactive nitrogen), and O3 are measured using the NCAR 4-channel chemiluminescence instrument, previously flown on the NASA WB-57F and the NCAR C130. NO is measured via addition of reagent O3 to the sample flow to generate the chemiluminescent reaction producing excited NO2, which is detected by photon counting with a dry-ice cooled photomultiplier tube. NO2 is measured as NO following photolytic conversion of NO2, with a time response of about 3 sec due to the residence time in the photolysis cell. NO is measured with an identical time response due to use of a matching volume. NOy is measured via Au-catalyzed conversion of reactive nitrogen species to NO, in the presence of CO, with a time response of slightly better than 1 sec. O3 is measured using the same chemiluminescent reaction but with the addition of reagent NO to the sample flow. Time response for the ozone measurement is slightly better than 1 s.

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Differential Absorption Lidar

The NASA Langley Airborne Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) system uses four lasers to make DIAL O3 profile measurements in the ultraviolet (UV) simultaneously with aerosol profile measurements in the visible and IR. Recent changes incorporate an additional laser and modifications to the receiver system that will provide aerosol backscatter, extinction, and depolarization profile measurements at three wavelengths (UV, visible, and NIR). For SEAC4RS, the DIAL instrument will include for the first time aerosol and cloud measurements implementing the High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) technique [Hair, 2008]. The modifications include integrating an additional 3-wavelength (355 nm, 532 nm, 1064 nm) narrowband laser and the receiver to make the following measurements; depolarization at all three wavelengths, aerosol/cloud backscatter and extinction at 532 nm via the HSRL technique, and aerosol/cloud backscatter at the 355 and 1064 nm via the standard backscatter lidar technique. Integration of the aerosol extinction profile at 532nm above and below the aircraft also provides aerosol optical depth (AOD) along the aircraft flight track.

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UAS Chromatograph for Atmospheric Trace Species

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Chromatograph for Atmospheric Trace Species (UCATS) was designed and built for autonomous operation on pilotless aircraft. It uses chromatography to separate atmospheric trace gases along a narrow heated column, followed by precise and accurate detection with electron capture detectors. There are two chromatographs on UCATS, one of which measures nitrous oxide and sulfur hexafluoride, the other of which measures methane, hydrogen, and carbon monoxide. In addition, there is a small ozone instrument and a tunable diode laser instrument for water vapor. Gas is pumped into the instruments from an inlet below the GV, measured, and vented. UCATS has flown on the Altair UAS, the GV during HIPPO I and II, and most recently on the NASA/NOAA Global Hawk UAS during the Global Hawk Pacific (GloPac) mission, where a record was set for the longest duration research flight (more than 28 hours). UCATS is relatively lightweight and compact, making it ideal for smaller platforms, but it is easily adaptable to a mid-size platform like the GV for HIPPO. The data are used to measure sources and sinks of trace gases involved in climate and air quality, as well as transport through the atmosphere.

UCATS is three different instruments in one enclosure:

1. 2-channel gas chromatograph (GC)
2. Dual-beam ozone photometer (OZ)
3. Tunable diode laser (TDL) spectrometer for water vapor (WV)

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N2O, SF6, CH4, CO, O3, H2, H2O
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Altair, Global Hawk - AFRC, DC-8 - AFRC, Gulfstream V - NSF, WB-57 - JSC, ER-2 - AFRC
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O3 Photometer - UAS (NOAA)

Ozone (O3) in the lower stratosphere (LS) is responsible for absorbing much of the biologically damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sunlight, and thus plays a critical role in protecting Earth's environment. By absorbing UV light, O3 heats the surrounding air, leading to the vertical stratification and dynamic stability that define the stratosphere. Halogen species from anthropogenic compounds such as CFCs can cause significant damage to the O3 layer in the LS and have led to the formation of the Antarctic ozone hole. Accurate measurement of O3 in the LS is the first step toward understanding and protecting stratospheric O3. The UAS Ozone Photometer was designed specifically for autonomous, precise, and accurate O3 measurements in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UT/LS) onboard the NASA Global Hawk Unmanned Aircraft System (GH UAS) and other high altitude research platforms such as the ER-2 and WB-57. With a data rate of 2 Hz, the instrument can provide high-time-resolution, detailed information for studies of O3 photochemistry, radiation balance, stratosphere-troposphere exchange, and air parcel mixing in the UT/LS. Furthermore, its accurate data are useful for satellite retrieval validation.  Contacts: Troy Thornberry, Ru-Shan Gao

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