Carbon Oxide Laser Detector 2

COLD2 is an automated, portable, mid-infrared quantum cascade laser spectrometer for in situ carbon monoxide mixing ratio measurements in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. The instrument was designed to be versatile, suitable for easy installation on different platforms and capable of operating completely unattended, without the presence of an operator. The spectrometer features a small size (80 × 25 × 41 cm 3 ), light weight (23 kg) and low power consumption (85 W typical), without being pressurized. COLD2 recently flew aboard the research aircraft M55 Geophysica during a measurement campaign (StratoClim) carried out in Nepal in summer 2017. The instrument worked extremely well, without external maintenance during all flights, yielding an in-flight sensitivity of 1–2 ppbV with a time resolution of 1 s.

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Carbon Airborne Flux Experiment

The NASA Goddard Greenhouse Gas suite measures CO2, CH4 and water vapor using two commercial analyzers (Los Gatos Research) modified for airborne operation. The principle of detection is infrared laser absorption spectroscopy combined with a multi-pass gas cell that gives an effective absorption path length of several kilometers and measurement precisions of < 0.5%. Both instruments are coupled to a central data acquisition system and are essentially autonomous.

The GHG package is also uniquely capable of directly measuring surface emission and uptake using the eddy covariance technique. This includes fluxes of CO2, CH4, and sensitble and latent heat.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) are potent greenhouse gases and the foremost drivers of man-made climate change. Fossil fuel combustion is the primary source of CO2, while CH4 is released during natural gas extraction (fracking), enteric fermentation (cow burps), and other anthropogenic and natural processes. Measurements of these gases help us to quantify and compare the strength of different sources and thus build more accurate emission inventories. They can also serve as tracers for source attribution of other trace species.

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Carbon Monoxide Measurement &amp; Analysis

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Harvard Tracer Suite

HTS is composed of two instruments based on absorption of near-infrared laser radiation in high finesse optical cavities. A Picarro G2401-m analyzer based on wavelength-scanned cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS) measures CO2, CH4, and CO concentrations at 2-second intervals. A Los Gatos 913-0014 EP analyzer based on off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscopy (ICOS) measures N2O and CO concentrations at 1-second intervals. Extensive modifications have been applied to these commercial analyzers for flight and include vibration isolation, temperature control, additional flow control and pumping capacity for high-altitude sampling, sample drying, and in-flight calibrations using WMO-traceable compressed gas standards to verify stable and accurate performance throughout the full DC-8 flight envelope.

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NOAA Water

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Closed-path Laser Hygrometer 2

The University of Colorado Closed-path Laser Hygrometer, version 2 (CLH2) is an infrared absorption instrument designed to measure so-called “total water”, the sum of water vapor and particulate water. It is a second-generation sensor that derives from the original CLH, which has been flown on the NASA DC-8 and WB-57F and the NSF/NCAR G-V and C-130. This version of the instrument uses a fiber-coupled tunable diode laser at 1.37 μm to measure by absorption the water vapor resulting from the evaporation of cloud particles. The spectrometer will be housed in a modified PMS canister and coupled to a heated forward-facing inlet. Sampling of particles is deliberately sub-isokinetic, which results in enhancements of particle mass relative to ambient by factors ranging between 30 and 70. Therefore, condensed water even in very thin clouds can be measured with high precision and accuracy.

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Gulfstream V - NSF
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Quantum Cascade Laser System

The Harvard QCLS (DUAL and CO2) instrument package contains 2 separate optical assemblies and calibration systems, and a common data system and power supply. The two systems are mounted in a single standard HIAPER rack, and are described separately below:

The Harvard QCL DUAL instrument simultaneously measures CO, CH4, and N2O concentrations in situ using two thermoelectrically cooled pulsed-quantum cascade lasers (QCL) light sources, a multiple pass absorption cell, and two liquid nitrogen-cooled solid-state detectors. These components are mounted on a temperature-stabilized, vibrationally isolated optical bench with heated cover. The sample air is preconditioned using a Nafion drier (to remove water vapor), and is reduced in pressure to 60 mbar using a Teflon diaphragm pump. The trace gas mixing ratios of air flowing through the multiple pass absorption cell are determined by measuring absorption from their infrared transition lines at 4.59 microns for CO and 7.87 microns for CH4 and N2O using molecular line parameters from the HITRAN data base. 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. A prototype of this instrument was flown on the NOAA P3 in the summer of 2004.

The Harvard QCL CO2 instrument measures CO2 concentrations in situ using a thermoelectrically cooled pulsed-quantum cascade laser (QCL) light source, gas cells, and liquid nitrogen cooled solid-state detectors. 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 reduced in pressure to 60 mbar using 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 from a single infrared transition line at 4.32 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, and with a low-span and a high-span gas every 20 minutes.

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NCAR G-V, NOAA P-3, DC-8 - AFRC
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Langley Single Particle Soot Photometer

Droplet Measurement Technologies (DMT) Single Particle Soot Photometer (SP2). Signle particle measurement of accumulation-mode refractory black carbon (rBC) mass concentrations based on laser-induced incancescence.   

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Dual Channel Airborne tunable diode Laser Spectrometer

The instrument uses two-tone frequency modulation (TTFM) with signal detection at approximately equals 12 MHz. Multiplexing is achieved using a dichroic optical element and a mechanical chopper which blocks each beam alternately. A control program running on a dedicated digital signal processor (DSP) allows the registration of the full absorption line shape each millisecond and simultaneous zero overhead on-line data reduction using a multiple linear regression algorithm. Gas exchange through the compact multireflection cell (2.71 volume, total path 53 m.) takes place in approximately equals 200 ms and thus determines the instrument response time.

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Alan Fried (Co-I)

Harvard Integrated Cavity Output Spectroscopy

The Harvard CRDS/ICOS instrument is an absorption spectrometer that uses the relatively new and highly sensitive techniques of integrated cavity output spectroscopy (ICOS) and cavity ringdown spectroscopy (CRDS) with a high-finesse optical cavity and a cw quantum cascade laser (QCL) source. The primary spectroscopic technique employed is ICOS, in which intra-cavity absorption is measured from the steady-state output of the cavity. Light from a high power, tunable, single mode, solid-state laser source is coupled into a cavity consisting of two concave, highly reflective mirrors (R ≈ 0.9999), through which air continuously flows. The laser is scanned over a spectral region of 1–2 cm-1 containing an absorption feature, and the cavity output is detected by an LN2-cooled HgCdTe detector. The resultant output approximates an absorption spectrum with an effective pathlength of > 5 km, far greater than that of standard multipass Herriott or White cells.

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