Synonyms: 
DC8
DC-8
NASA DC8
NASA DC-8 -AFRC
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Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometer

The single mass analyzer CIMS (S-CIMS) was developed for use on NASA’s ER-2 aircraft. Its first measurements were made in 2000 (SOLVE). Subsequently, it has flown on the NASA DC-8 aircraft for INTEX-NA, DICE, TC4, and ARCTAS, as well as on the NCAR C-130 during MILAGRO/INTEX-B. HNO3 is measured by selective ion chemical ionization via the fluoride transfer reaction: CF3O- + HNO3 → HF • NO3- + CF2O In addition to its fast reaction rate with HNO3, CF3O- can be used to measure additional acids and nitrates as well as SO2 [Amelynck et al., 2000; Crounse et al., 2006; Huey et al., 1996]. We have further identified CF3O- chemistry as useful for the measurement of less acidic species via clustering reactions [Crounse et al., 2006; Paulot et al., 2009a; Paulot et al., 2009b; St. Clair et al., 2010]: CF3O- + HX → CF3O- • HX where, e.g., HX = HCN, H2O2, CH3OOH, CH3C(O)OOH (PAA) The mass analyzer of the S-CIMS instrument has recently been upgraded from a quadrupole to a time-of-flight (ToF) analyzer. The ToF admits the sample ion beam to the ion extractor, where a pulse of high voltage orthogonally deflects and accelerates the ions into the reflectron, which in turn redirects the ions toward the multichannel plate detector. Ions in the ToF follow a V-shaped, 43 cm path from extractor to detector, separating by mass as the smaller ions are accelerated to greater velocities by the high voltage pulse. The detector collects the ions as a function of time following each extractor pulse. The rapid-scan collection of the ToF guarantees a high temporal resolution (1 Hz or faster) and simultaneous data products from the S-CIMS instrument for all mass channels [Drewnick et al., 2005]. We have flown a tandem CIMS (TCIMS) instrument in addition to the SCIMS since INTEX-B (2006). The T-CIMS provides parent-daughter mass analysis, enabling measurement of compounds precluded from quantification by the S-CIMS due to mass interferences (e.g. MHP) or the presence of isobaric compounds (e.g. isoprene oxidation products) [Paulot et al., 2009b; St. Clair et al., 2010]. Calibrations of both CIMS instruments for HNO3 and organic acids are performed in flight using isotopically-labeled reagents evolved from a thermally-stabilized permeation tube oven [Washenfelder et al., 2003]. By using an isotopically labeled standard, the product ion signals are distinct from the natural analyte and calibration can be performed at any time without adversely affecting the ambient measurement. We also fly calibration standards for H2O2 (evolved from urea-hydrogen peroxide) and MHP (from a diffusion vial).

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Airborne Coherent Lidar for Advanced In-flight Measurements

ACLAIM is a 2-micron lidar operating at 100 pulses per second using an 8 cm diameter expanded beam. It was developed for advanced turbulence detection with applications to supersonic inlet control, mitigation of aircraft gust response and aircrew / passenger warning for improved seatbelt utilization.

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Cloud, Aerosol, and Precipitation Spectrometer

This multipurpose particle spectrometer includes three Droplet Measurement Technologies instruments plus temperature and relative humidity sensors that are packaged into a single, integrated measurement system. The CAPS provides the following data:

- Aerosol particle and cloud hydrometeor size distributions from 0.51 to 50 µm

- Precipitation size distributions from 25 µm to 1550 µm, or 15-930 um with optional 15-micron resolution

- Particle optical properties (refractive index)

- Particle shape assessments (discrimination between water and ice for probes with depolarization feature)

- Liquid water content from 0.01 to 3 g/m3

- Aircraft velocity

- Atmospheric temperature and pressure

This instrument replaces the older PMS/PMI FSSP-100, FSSP-300, 2D-C, 2D-P and KLWC and can be used in many applications, including weather modification, aircraft icing, hurricane and storm research, and agricultural and industrial spray characterization.

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Airborne Topographic Mapper

The Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) is a scanning LIDAR developed and used by NASA for observing the Earth's topography for several scientific applications, foremost of which is the measurement of changing arctic and antarctic icecaps and glaciers. It typically flies on aircraft at an altitude between 400 and 800 meters above ground level, and measures topography to an accuracy of ten to twenty centimeters by incorporating measurements from GPS (global positioning system) receivers and inertial navigation system (INS) attitude sensors.

The ATM instruments are based at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) in Virginia. They commonly fly aboard the NASA P3-B based at WFF and have flown aboard other P-3 aircraft, the NASA DC-8, several twin-otters (DHC-6), and a C-130; they can fly on most Twin Otter/King Air-class aircraft. The ATM has flown surveys in Greenland nearly every year since 1993. Other uses have included measurement of sea ice, verification of satellite radar and laser altimeters, and measurement of sea-surface elevation and ocean wave characteristics. The altimeter often flies in conjunction with a variety of other instruments. The ATM has been participating in NASA's Operation IceBridge since 2009.

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William Krabill (Prev PI)

Airborne Laser Isotope Spectrometer

Isotopic CO2 measurements have been identified as an important component of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise's Carbon Cycle Initiative as part of its program in global climate change. The isotopic composition of atmospheric CO2, and especially its 13CO2/ 12CO2 ratio, is an established tool for understanding the details of the global carbon cycle, since this ratio can distinguish between oceanic and terrestrial biospheric sinks of CO2.

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Airborne Multichannel Microwave Radiometer

The Airborne Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (AMMR) measures thermal microwave emission (in degrees Kelvin of brightness temperature) from surface and atmosphere. The up-looking radiometer at 21 and 37 GHz is a component of AMMR that was developed in the 1970's for precipitation measurements from an aircraft. The entire AMMR assembly covers a frequency range of 10-92 GHz. The 21/37 GHz unit has been flown in many types of aircraft during the past three decades in various field campaigns. It was refurbished during the year 2000 and is ready for flight again.

The fixed-beam Dicke radiometer has a beam width of about 6 degrees and is currently programmed with radiometric output every second. The temperature sensitivity is < 0.5 K, and the calibration accuracy is about ±4 K. The calibration is performed on the ground by viewing targets of known brightness (e.g., sky and absorber with known brightness temperature). The unit can be installed in one of the windows of the NASA P-3 aircraft so that it views at an angle of about 15º from zenith. Thus, it is necessary to spiral the aircraft gradually down to region below the freezing level in order to make measurements effectively. Ideally, the aircraft descends at the rate of about 1 km per 5 minutes. The system requires a bottle of N2 gas to keep the wave guides dry during the in-flight operation.

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Convair 580 NRC, DC-8 - AFRC, P-3 Orion - WFF
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Advanced Microwave Precipitation Radiometer

The AMPR is a total power passive microwave radiometer producing calibrated brightness temperatures (TB) at 10.7, 19.35, 37.1, and 85.5 GHz. These frequencies are sensitive to the emission and scattering of precipitation-size ice, liquid water, and water vapor. The AMPR performs a 90º cross-track data scan perpendicular to the direction of aircraft motion. It processes a linear polarization feed with full vertical polarization at -45º and full horizontal polarization at +45º, with the polarization across the scan mixed as a function of sin2, giving an equal V-H mixture at 0º (aircraft nadir). A full calibration is made every fifth scan using hot and cold blackbodies. From a typical ER-2 flight altitude of ~20 km, surface footprint sizes range from 640 m (85.5 GHz) to 2.8 km (10.7 GHz). All four channels share a common measurement grid with collocated footprint centers, resulting in over-sampling of the low frequency channels with respect to 85.5 GHz.

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Broadband CO2 Lidar - 1.5 micron version

The Broadband CO2 lidar instrument operates on the principle of differential absorption. This means that the instrument examines the transmission of light through the atmosphere at two or more different wavelengths that are absorbed differently by the species one wishes to measure. There are then two principal elements involved in the measurement—the source and the detector. Passive systems use natural processes such as sunlight or atmospheric emission to generate a number of different wavelengths which are separated for analysis by the detector. Most laser based systems (eg. DIAL lidars) use two or more different laser sources to provide different wavelengths. These systems then might use the same detector for the multiple wavelengths using time separation or modulation to differentiate the signals coming from the different lasers.

This system, however, uses as a detector that can differentiate wavelengths just as conventional passive sensors. The detector was originally developed as the Fabry-Perot passive sensor measuring CO2 using reflected sunlight. Our new approach is made possible by the emergence of a new type of source—the superluminescent light emitting diode (SLED). The SLED has the same high brightness and collimation characteristics as a conventional laser but it emits light over a broader range of wavelengths than conventional lasers. This permits a differential absorption measurement employing a single source with wavelength differentiation in the detector.

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Berkeley Nitrogen Oxides Detector

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Airborne Tropospheric Hydrogen Oxides Sensor

ATHOS uses laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) to measure OH and HO2 simultaneously. OH is both excited and detected with the A2Σ+ (v’=0) → X2π (v”=0) transition near 308 nm. HO2 is reacted with reagent NO to form OH and is then detected with LIF. The laser is tuned on and off the OH wavelength to determine the fluorescence and background signals. ATHOS can detect OH and HO2 in clear air and light clouds from Earth's surface to the lower stratosphere. The ambient air is slowed from the aircraft speed of 240 m/s to 8-40 m/s in an aerodynamic nacelle. It is then pulled by a vacuum pump through a small inlet, up a sampling tube, and into two low-pressure detection cells - the first for OH and the second for HO2. Detection occurs in each cell at the intersection of the airflow, the laser beam, and the detector field-of-view.

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