Methane Near IR Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectrometer (NOAA CH4)

Status

Operated By: 
PI

The tunable diode laser (TDL) absorption instrument consists of a very high resolution scanning near-infrared diode laser spectrometer. The laser diode is a 3 mW single-mode distributed feedback (DFB) InGaAsP/InP laser that is cooled and temperature stabilized via a Peltier cooler. The laser is scanned in frequency by varying the injection current linearly. The resulting frequency scan covers the entire CH4 R(3) ro-vibrational transition in the 2ν3 overtone band at 1.653 μm.

Because the line strengths are very weak for this overtone transition, the laser beam is multipassed through a custom designed low volume astigmatic Herriott cell yielding a total optical pathlength of 245 m. The transmitted light is detected by a dc-coupled InGaAsP detector and digitized by a custom 20-bit A/D converter. This ADC is synchronized to the 16-bit software generated laser scan waveform running in continuous DMA mode. The laser scans continuously over the methane absorption at a rate of 0.25 - 0.5 KHz and coadds typically 100 scans in a 2 second integration time.

By use of the Beer-Lambert law, the methane number density is calculated from the direct absorption measurements. This calculation is performed by a non-linear least squares Voigt fitting program. The program constraints include the measured cell temperature and pressure in addition to the known absorption line strengths and pressure broadening coefficients associated with the three transitions that make up the R(3) lineshape.

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Instrument Team: 
Ken Kelly (Prev PI)