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Title: Quantifying sources and sinks of reactive gases in the lower atmosphere using airborne flux observations: AIRBORNE FLUXES OF REACTIVE GASES
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Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
8231 to 8240
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Abstract. We present the development and assessment of a new flight system that uses acommercially available continuous-wave, tunable infrared laser directabsorption spectrometer to measure N2O, CO2, CO, andH2O. When the commercial system is operated in an off-the-shelfmanner, we find a clear cabin pressure–altitude dependency forN2O, CO2, and CO. The characteristics of this artifactmake it difficult to reconcile with conventional calibration methods. Wepresent a novel procedure that extends upon traditional calibrationapproaches in a high-flow system with high-frequency, short-duration samplingof a known calibration gas of near-ambient concentration. This approachcorrects for cabin pressure dependency as well as other sources of drift inthe analyzer while maintaining a ∼90% duty cycle for 1Hz sampling.Assessment and validation of the flight system with both extensive in-flightcalibrations and comparisons with other flight-proven sensors demonstrate thevalidity of this method. In-flight 1σ precision is estimated at0.05ppb, 0.10ppm, 1.00ppb, and 10ppm for N2O,CO2, CO, and H2O respectively, and traceability to WorldMeteorological Organization (WMO) standards (1σ) is 0.28ppb,0.33ppm, and 1.92ppb for N2O, CO2, and CO. We showthe system is capable of precise, accurate 1Hz airborne observations ofN2O, more »class="inline-formula">CO2, CO, and H2O and highlight flightdata, illustrating the value of this analyzer for studying N2Oemissions on ∼100km spatial scales.

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