Scientific Results

A Portable Quantum Cascade Laser Spectrometer for Atmospheric Measurements of Carbon Monoxide

Year: 2018

Authors: Viciani S., Montori A., Chiarugi A., D’Amato F.

Autors Affiliation: National Research Council—National Institute of Optics (CNR-INO), Largo E. Fermi 6, 50125 Firenze, Italy;
National Research Council—National Institute of Optics (CNR-INO), Via N. Carrara 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy;
National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology (INGV), Sez. di Pisa, Via della Faggiola 32, 56126 Pisa,
Italy

Abstract: Trace gas concentration measurements in the stratosphere and troposphere are critically required as inputs to constrain climate models. For this purpose, measurement campaigns on stratospheric aircraft and balloons are being carried out all over the world, each one involving sensors which are tailored for the specific gas and environmental conditions. This paper describes an automated, portable, mid-infrared quantum cascade laser spectrometer, for in situ carbon monoxide mixing ratio measurements in the stratosphere and troposphere. 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, not only during one flight but for the whole period of a campaign. The spectrometer features a small size (80  25  41 cm3), light weight (23 kg) and low power consumption (85 W typical), without being pressurized and without the need of calibration on the ground or during in-flight operation. The device was tested in the laboratory and in-field during a research campaign carried out in Nepal in summer 2017, onboard the stratospheric aircraft M55 Geophysica. The instrument worked extremely well, without external maintenance during all flights, proving an in-flight sensitivity of 1–2 ppbV with a time resolution of 1 s.

Journal/Review: SENSORS

Volume: 18 (7)      Pages from: 2380-1  to: 2380-18

More Information: Funding sponsor: 603557. CO2Volc. 279802. European Research Council, ERC, FP7-IDEAS-ERC. Seventh Framework Programme, FP7. – Funding: This research was funded by the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreement n? 603557—Project STRATOCLIM. One of the authors (A.C.) acknowledges the support of European Research Council via FP7-IDEAS-ERC Project CO2Volc (Grant 279802). This funding includes open access costs.
KeyWords: Airborne measurements; In situ sensing; Stratosphere; Carbon monoxide; Climate change; Climate models; Fighter aircraft; Spectrometers; Troposphere; Upper atmosphere, Airborne measurements; Atmospheric measurement; Carbon monoxide mixing ratio; Environmental conditions; Low-power consumption; Measurement campaign; Mid-infrared quantum cascade; Trace gas concentrations, Quantum cascade lasers
DOI: 10.3390/s18072380

Citations: 5
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