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Synonyms: 
WB-57
WB57
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Tropospheric Ozone and Tracers from Commercial Aircraft Platforms

Ozone is measured in a dual-beam ultraviolet (254 nm) absorption analyzer. Ambient air flows through one absorption cell while air scrubbed of ozone flows through an adjacent one. This allows continuous measurement of both background and absorption signals. Flows are switched between cells by a pair of solenoid valves, which permits monitoring of optical changes. Water vapor is detected with a tunable diode laser spectrometer designed and built by Randy May. This sensor employs a room-temperature near-infrared laser (single mode at about 1.37 microns) and second harmonic detection, rather than direct absorption. Unlike the JPL water instrument, this sensor has an internal absorption path, optimized for the mid-troposphere. Carbon dioxide is measured by its absorption in the infrared (4.25 microns) using a LiCor NDIR instrument. This is also a dual-cell device, in which the absorption caused by the ambient air sample is compared to that from a reference gas of known composition. Halocarbons are monitored with a custom-built gas chromatograph, using short, packed columns and small ovens, and HP micro-electron capture detectors. Ambient sample and standard will be run simultaneously on paired columns to reduce errors associated with drift in ECD response.

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Focused Cavity Aerosol Spectrometer

The FCAS II sizes particles in the approximate diameter range from 0.07 mm to 1 mm. Particles are sampled from the free stream with a near isokinetic sampler and are transported to the instrument. They are then passed through a laser beam and the light scattered by individual particles is measured. Particle size is related to the scattered light. The data reduction for the FCAS II takes into account the water which is evaporated from the particle in sampling and the effects of anisokinetic sampling (Jonsson et al., 1995).

The FCAS II and its predecessors have provided accurate aerosol size distribution measurements throughout the evolution of the volcanic cloud produced by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. (Wilson et al., 1993). Near co-incidences between FCAS II and SAGE II measurements show good agreement between optical extinctions calculated from FCAS size distributions and extinctions measured by SAGE II.

Accuracy: The instrument has been calibrated with monodisperse aerosol carrying a single charge. The FCAS III and the electrometer agree to within 10%. Sampling errors may increase the uncertainty but a variety of comparisons suggests that total uncertainties in aerosol surface are near 30% (Jonsson, et al., 1995).

Precision: The precision equals 1/ÖN where N is the number of particles counted. In many instances the precision on concentration measurements may reach 7% for 0.1 Hz data. If better precision is desired, it is necessary only to accumulate over longer time intervals.

Response Time: Data are processed at 0.1 Hz. However, the response time depends upon the precision required to detect the change in question. Small changes may require longer times to detect. Plume measurements may be processed with 1 s resolution.

Weight: Approximately 50 lbs.

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Diode Laser Hygrometer

The DLH has been successfully flown during many previous field campaigns on several aircraft, most recently ATom, KORUS-AQ, and SEAC4RS (DC-8), POSIDON (WB-57), CARAFE (Sherpa), DISCOVER-AQ (P-3), and ATTREX (Global Hawk). This sensor measures water vapor (H2O(v)) via absorption by one of three strong, isolated lines in the (101) combination band near 1.4 μm and is comprised of a compact laser transceiver mounted to a DC-­8 window plate and a sheet of high grade retroflecting road sign material applied to an outboard DC‐8 engine housing to complete the optical path. Using differential absorption detection techniques, H2O(v) is sensed along the 28.5m external path negating any potential wall or inlet effects inherent in extractive sampling techniques. A laser power normalization scheme enables the sensor to accurately measure water vapor even when flying through clouds. An algorithm calculates H2O(v) concentration based on the differential absorption signal magnitude, ambient pressure, and temperature, and spectroscopic parameters that are measured in the laboratory. Preliminary water vapor mixing ratio and derived relative humidities are provided in real-time to investigators aboard the DC-8.

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Composition and Photo-Dissociative Flux Measurement

The instrument used for the CPFM is a spectroradiometer based on a concave, holographic diffraction grating and a 1024-element diode array detector. It measures the intensities of the two linear polarization components of radiation propagating upward at the aircraft location from a range of elevation angles near the horizon. In addition, a measurement of the intensity of the direct solar beam is made by viewing a horizontal diffusing surface mounted under a quartz dome on board the aircraft. These measurements are used to verify atmospheric light-scattering calculations, which are essential for the accurate modeling of the chemistry of the stratosphere where POLARIS makes its measurements.

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Condensation Nuclei Counter

The CNC counts particles in the approximate diameter range from 0.006 m to 2 m. The instrument operates by exposing the articles to saturated Flourinert vapor at 28 C and then cooling the sample in a condenser at 5 C. The supersaturation of the vapor increases as it is cooled and the vapor condenses on the particles causing them to grow to sizes which are easily detected. The resulting droplets are passed through a laser beam and the scattered light is detected. Individual particles are counted and are referred to as condensation nuclei (CN). Two CN Counters are provided in the instrument. One counts the particles after sampling from the atmosphere and the second counts particles that have survived heating to 192C. Lab experiments show that pure sulfuric acid particles smaller than 0.05 mm are volatilized in the heater. The heated channel detects when small particles are volatile and permits speculation about the composition. The CNC II contains an impactor collector which permits the collection of particles on electron microscope grids for later analysis. The collector consists of a two stages. In the first stage the pressure of the sample is reduced by a factor of two without loosing particles by impaction on walls. The second stage consists of a thin plate impactor which collect efficiently even at small Reynolds numbers. The system collects particles as small as 0.02 m at WB-57 cruise altitudes. As many as 25 samples can be collected in a flight.

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Closed-path Laser Hygrometer

The University of Colorado closed-path tunable diode laser hygrometer (CLH) is based on the water vapor hygrometers designed by R. D. May (Maycomm, Inc.). CLH is coupled to a heated, forward-facing inlet that enhances particulate water by anisokinetic sampling. Ice water content (IWC) is derived from the measurement of enhanced total water, with knowledge of the instrument sampling characteristics, particle size distributions and ambient water vapor.

In contrast to the open-path systems of similar heritage, the CLH, which was designed for operation in the troposphere on commercial aircraft, has a single-pass absorption cell (27.62 cm long). The light source is a room-temperature solid-state laser that puts out 3-5 mW of radiation at 1.37 mm (7306.752 cm-1).

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Gulfstream V - NSF, WB-57 - JSC
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Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometer

The NOAA chemical ionization mass spectrometer (CIMS) instrument was developed for high-precision measurements of gaseous nitric acid (HNO3) specifically under high- and variable-humidity conditions in the boundary layer. The instrument’s background signals (i.e., signals detected when HNO3-free air is measured), which depend on the humidity and HNO3 concentration of the sample air, are the most important factor affecting the limit of detection (LOD). A new system to provide HNO3-free air without changing both the humidity and the pressure of the sampled air was developed to measure the background level accurately. The detection limit was about 23 parts per trillion by volume (pptv) for 50-s averages. Field tests, including an intercomparison with the diffusion scrubber technique, were carried out at a surface site in Tokyo, Japan, in October 2003 and June 2004. A comparison between the measured concentrations of HNO3 and particulate nitrate indicated that the interference from particulate nitrate was not detectable (i.e., less than about 1%). The intercomparison indicated that the two independent measurements of HNO3 agreed to within the combined uncertainties of these measurements.

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Airborne Scanning Microwave Limb Sounder

The National Research Council decadal survey for earth science identified the need for a Global Atmospheric Composition Mission (GACM) to address crucial issues on how changes in atmospheric composition affect the quality and well-being of life on earth. The baseline GACM instrument suite comprises UV/Vis and IR/SWIR spectrometers and an advanced microwave limb sounder working together to retrieve atmospheric composition worldwide with high spatial resolution. The Scanning Microwave Limb Sounder (SMLS) is designed to meet the measurement requirements of GACM by providing complete orbit-to-orbit retrieval of O3, N2O, temperature, water vapor, CO, HNO3, ClO, and volcanic SO2 in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. Unlike previous MLS instruments that only scanned the limb vertically leaving large orbit to orbit gaps, SMLS will simultaneously scan both in azimuth and elevation providing complete global coverage with 6 or more repeat measurements per day. SMLS will employ extremely sensitive, broadband, sideband-separating, SIS receivers centered at 230 and 640 GHz that provide the same precision as those on Aura MLS with a 100 fold reduction in integration time. SMLS will use a novel antenna design that provides high vertical resolution and enables rapid horizontal scanning of the field of view.

Since the late summer 2008, the development of the SMLS instrument technology has been underway within NASA Earth Science Technology Office’s Instrument Incubator Program. The objective of this development is to advance the core signal path technologies required for a microwave limb sounder with the capability to map the composition of the upper troposphere and stratosphere with 50x50x1 km spatial sampling and six times daily mid-latitude repeat coverage. The specific goals of this effort include:

* the mitigation of the optics and calibration risks of the SMLS flight sensor design by constructing and testing an airborne prototype of the SMLS sensor and calibration system - A-SMLS - using prototype sideband-separating mixers, line sources, and advanced spectrometers and calibration targets;

* the mitigation of the development risks of the cryogenics system by developing a flight-like cryostat and demonstrating an end-to-end prototype of the SMLS signal path from the antenna interface through the back-end electronics, and quantifying its stability, calibration accuracy, linearity, and sensitivity; and

* the demonstration of the potential science measurement capability of SMLS through the A-SMLS science flights.

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Next-Generation Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer

The NASA Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) has been in operation since 1989 acquiring contiguous spectral measurements between 380 and 2510 nm for use by a range of terrestrial ecology science investigations related to: (1) pattern and spatial distribution of ecosystems and their components, (2) ecosystem function, physiology and seasonal activity, (3) biogeochemical cycles, (3) changes in disturbance activity, and (4) ecosystems and human health. While AVIRIS continue to make unique and significant science contributions, such as its deployment to the Gulf of Louisiana in May 2010 for the assessment of the amount of oil spilled by the offshore well, the need for a new sensor to share AVIRIS’ workload and to eventually replace AVIRIS is inevitable. Indeed, since the late summer of 2009 a new NASA Earth Science airborne sensor called the Next Generation Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRISng) is being developed by JPL through the funding support from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The technical and programmatic oversights of the AVIRISng development is provided by NASA’s Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO).

Similar to its predecessor, the AVIRISng is being designed to be compatible with a broad array of possible aircraft platforms, such as NASA’s ER-2 jet, the Twin Otter turboprop, Scaled Composites Proteus and NASA’s WB-57.

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Argus Tunable Diode Laser Instrument

Argus is a two channel, tunable diode laser instrument set up for the simultaneous, in situ measurement of CO (carbon monoxide), N2O (nitrous oxide) and CH4 (methane) in the troposphere and lower stratosphere. The instrument measures 40 x 30 x 30 cm and weighs 21 kg. An auxiliary, in-flight calibration system has dimensions 42 x 26 x 34 cm and weighs 17 kg.

The instrument is an absorption spectrometer operating in rapid scan, secondharmonic mode using frequency-modulated tunable lead-salt diode lasers emitting in the mid-infrared. Spectra are co-added for two seconds and are stored on a solid state disk for later analysis. The diode laser infrared beam is shaped by two anti-refection coated lenses into an f/40 beam focused at the entrance aperture of a multi-pass Herriott cell. The Herriott cell is common to both optical channels and is a modified astigmatic cell (New Focus Inc., Santa Clara, California).

The aspherical mirrors are coated with protected silver for optimal infrared reflectivity. The cell is set up for a 182-pass state for a total path of 36m. The pass number can be confirmed by visual spot pattern verification on the mirrors observed through the glass cell body when the cell is illuminated with a visible laser beam. However, instrument calibration is always carried out using calibrated gas standards with the Argus instrument operating at its infrared design wavelengths, 3.3 and 4.7 micrometers respectively for CH4 and CO detection. The electronic processing of the second harmonic spectra is done by standard phase sensitive amplifier techniques with demodulation occurring at twice the laser modulation frequency of 40 kHz. To optimize the secondharmonic signal amplitude in a changing ambient pressure environment the laser modulation amplitude is updated every 2 seconds to its optimal theoretical value based upon the measured pressure in the Herriott cell.

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