Programmable Flask Package Whole Air Sampler

The PFP whole air sampler provides a means of automated or manual filling of glass flasks, twelve per PFP. The sampler is designed to remove excess water vapor from the sampled air and compress it without contamination into ~1-liter volumes. These flasks are analyzed at the NOAA’s Global Monitoring Division laboratory for trace gasses and at  the INSTAR’s Staple Isotope Lab laboratory for isotopes of methane. More than 60 trace gases found in the global atmosphere can be measured at mole fractions that range from parts-per-million (10-6), e.g., carbon dioxide, down to parts-per-quadrillion (10-15), e.g., HFC-365mfc.  The chemical species monitored include N2O, SF6, H2, CS2, OCS, CO2, CH4, CO, CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs, Solvents, Methyl Halides, Hydrocarbons and Perfluorocarbons.

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PAN and Trace Hydrohalocarbon ExpeRiment

PANTHER uses Electron Capture Detection and Gas Chromatography (ECD-GC) and Mass Selective Detection and Gas Chromatography (MSD-GC) to measure numerous trace gases, including Methyl halides, HCFCs, PAN, N20, SF6, CFC-12, CFC-11, Halon-1211, methyl chloroform, carbon tetrachloride.

3 ECD (electron capture detectors), packed columns (OV-101, Porpak-Q, molecular sieve).

1 ECD with a TE (thermal electric) cooled RTX-200 capillary column.

2-channel MSD (mass selective detector). The MSD analyses two independent samples concentrated onto TE cooled Haysep traps, then passed through two temperature programmed RTX-624 capillary columns.

With the exception of PAN, all channels of chromatography are normalized to a stable in-flight calibration gas references to NOAA scales. The PAN data is normalized to an in-flight PAN source of ≈ 100 ppt with ±5 % reproducibility. This source is generated by efficient photolytic conversion of NO in the presence of acetone. Detector non-linearity is taken out by lab calibrations for all molecules.

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Airborne Chromatograph For Atmospheric Trace Species

ACATS-IV is a 4-channel gas chromatograph with electron capture detection (ECD) that measures a variety of halocarbons and other long-lived trace gases in the stratosphere. The instrument is currently configured to measure CFC-11 (CCl3F), CFC-12 (CCl2F2), CFC-113 (CCl2FCClF2), methyl chloroform (CH3CCl3), carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), halon-1211 (CBrClF2), chloroform (CHCl3), methane (CH4), and hydrogen (H2) every 125 s, and nitrous oxide (N2O) and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) every 250 s. Each channel is comprised of a sample loop (2-10 cm3 volume), gas sampling valve (GSV), chromatographic column pair, ECD, electrometer, and several flow, temperature, and pressure controllers. In-flight calibration is carried out every 625 s (1250 s for N2O and SF6) by injecting a dried, whole air standard containing approximately 80% of tropospheric mixing ratios.

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