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Harvard Lyman-α Photofragment Fluorescence Hygrometer

The Harvard Water Vapor (HWV) instrument combines two independent measurement methods for the simultaneous in situ detection of ambient water vapor mixing ratios in a single duct. This dual axis instrument combines the heritage of the Harvard Lyman-α photo-fragment fluorescence instrument (LyA) with the newly designed tunable diode laser direct absorption instrument (HHH). The Lyman-α detection axis functions as a benchmark measurement, and provides a requisite link to the long measurement history of Harvard Lyman-α aboard NASA’s WB-57 and ER-2 aircraft [Weinstock et al., 1994; Hintsa et al., 1999; Weinstock et al., 2009]. The inclusion of HHH provides a second high precision measurement that is more robust than LyA to changes in its measurement sensitivity [Smith et al., in preparation]. The simultaneous utilization of radically different measurement techniques facilitates the identification, diagnosis, and constraint of systematic errors both in the laboratory and in flight. As such, it constitutes a significant step toward resolving the controversy surrounding water vapor measurements in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere.

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High-Sensitivity Fast-Response CO2 Analyzer

The high-sensitivity fast response CO2 instrument measures CO2 concentrations in situ using the light source, gas cells, and solid-state detector from a modified nondispersive infrared CO2 analyzer (Li-Cor, Inc., Lincoln, NE). These components are stabilized along the detection axis, vibrationally isolated, and housed in a temperature-controlled pressure vessel. Sample air enters a rear-facing inlet, is preconditioned using a Nafion drier (to remove water vapor), then is compressed by a Teflon diaphragm pump. A second water trap, using dry ice, reduces the sample air dewpoint to less than 70C prior to detection. The CO2 mixing ratio of air flowing through the sample gas cell is determined by measuring absorption at 4.26 microns relative to a reference gas of known concentration. In-flight calibrations are performed by replacing the air sample with reference gas every 10 minutes, with a low-span and a high-span gas every 20 minutes, and with a long-term primary standard every 2 hours. The long-term standard is used sparingly and serves as a check of the flight-to-flight accuracy and precision of the measurements, augmented by ground-based calibrations before and after flights.

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Meteorological Measurement System

The Meteorological Measurement System (MMS) is a state-of-the-art instrument for measuring accurate, high resolution in situ airborne state parameters (pressure, temperature, turbulence index, and the 3-dimensional wind vector). These key measurements enable our understanding of atmospheric dynamics, chemistry and microphysical processes. The MMS is used to investigate atmospheric mesoscale (gravity and mountain lee waves) and microscale (turbulence) phenomena. An accurate characterization of the turbulence phenomenon is important for the understanding of dynamic processes in the atmosphere, such as the behavior of buoyant plumes within cirrus clouds, diffusions of chemical species within wake vortices generated by jet aircraft, and microphysical processes in breaking gravity waves. Accurate temperature and pressure data are needed to evaluate chemical reaction rates as well as to determine accurate mixing ratios. Accurate wind field data establish a detailed relationship with the various constituents and the measured wind also verifies numerical models used to evaluate air mass origin. Since the MMS provides quality information on atmospheric state variables, MMS data have been extensively used by many investigators to process and interpret the in situ experiments aboard the same aircraft.

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JPL Laser Hygrometer

The JPL Laser Hygrometer (JLH) is an autonomous spectrometer to measure atmospheric water vapor from airborne platforms. It is designed for high-altitude scientific flights of the NASA ER-2 aircraft to monitor upper tropospheric (UT) and lower stratospheric (LS) water vapor for climate studies, atmospheric chemistry, and satellite validation. JLH will participate in the NASA SEAC4RS field mission this year. The light source for JLH is a near-infrared distributed feedback (DFB) tunable diode laser that scans across a strong water vapor vibrational-rotational combination band absorption line in the 1.37 micrometer band. Both laser and detector are temperature‐stabilized on a thermoelectrically-cooled aluminum mount inside an evacuated metal housing. A long optical path is folded within a Herriott Cell for sensitivity to water vapor in the UT and LS. A Herriott cell is an off-axis multipass cell using two spherical mirrors [Altmann et al., 1981; Herriott et al., 1964]. The laser beam enters the Herriott cell through a hole in the mirror that is closest to the laser. The laser beam traverses many passes of the Herriott cell and then returns through the same mirror hole to impinge on a detector.

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Multiple-Angle Aerosol Spectrometer Probe

The Multiple-Angle Aerosol Spectrometer Probe (MASP) determines the size and concentration of particles from about 0.3 to 20 microns in diameter and the index of refraction for selected sizes. Size is determined by measuring the light intensity scattered by individual particles as they transit a laser beam of 0.780µm wavelength. Light scattered from particles into a cone from 30 to 60 degrees forward and 120 to 150 degrees backwards is reflected by a mangin mirror through a condensing lens to the detectors. A comparison of the signals from the open aperture detector and the masked aperture detector is used to accept only those particles passing through the center of the laser beam. The size of the particle is determined from the total scattered light. The index of refraction of particles can be estimated from the ratio of the forward to back scatter signals. A calibration diode laser is pulsed periodically during flight to ensure proper operation of the electronics. The shrouded inlet minimizes angle of attack effects and maintains isokinetic flow through the sensing volume so that volatilization of particles is eliminated.

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Harvard Hydroxyl Experiment

OH is detected by direct laser induced fluorescence in the (0-1) band of the 2?-2? electronic transition. A pulsed dye-laser system produces frequency tunable laser light at 282 nm. An on-board frequency reference cell is used by a computer to lock the laser to the appropriate wavelength. Measurement of the signal is then made by tuning the laser on and off resonance with the OH transition.

Stratospheric air is channeled into the instrument using a double-ducted system that both maintains laminar flow through the detection region and slows the flow from free stream velocity (200 m/s) to 40 m/s. The laser light is beam-split and directed to two detection axes where it passes through the stratospheric air in multipass White cells.

Fluorescence from OH (centered at 309 nm) is detected orthogonal to both the flow and the laser propagation using a filtered PMT assembly. Optical stability is checked periodically by exchanging the 309 nm interference filter with a filter centered at 302 nm, where Raman scattering of N2 is observed.

HO2 is measured as OH after chemical titration with nitric oxide: HO2 + NO → OH + NO2. Variation of added NO density and flow velocity as well as the use of two detection axes aid in diagnosis of the kinetics of this titration. Measurements of ozone (by uv absorption) and water vapor (by photofragment fluorescence) are made as diagnostics of potential photochemical interference from the mechanism: O3 + hv (282 nm) → O(1D) + O2, followed by: O(1D) + H2O → OH + OH

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Measurements of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Over Northwestern North America

A modified LI-COR model 6252 infrared gas analyzer forms the basis of a CO2 sampling system. The LI-COR is small (13 x 24 x 34 cm) and composed of dual 12 cm3 volume sample/reference cells; a feedback stabilized infrared source; 500 Hz chopper; thermoelectrically-cooled solid state PbSe detector; and a narrow band (150 nm) interference filter centered on the 4.26 μm CO2 absorption band. Using synchronous signal detection techniques, it operates by sensing the difference in light absorption between the continuously flowing sample and reference gases occupying each side of the dual absorption cell. Thus, by selecting a reference gas of approximately the same concentration as background air (~ 378 ppmv), very minute fluctuations in atmospheric concentration can be quantified with high precision (≤ 0.07 ppmv). The system is operated at constant pressure (250 torr) and has a 0.1 second electronic time response.

During ambient sampling, air is continuously drawn through a Rosemount inlet probe, a permeable membrane dryer to remove H2O(v), the LI-COR, and then exchanged through a diaphragm pump that vents overboard. In-flight calibrations are performed every 15 minutes using standards traceable to the primary standards maintained by the WMO Central CO2 Laboratory. By interpolating between these calibrations, slow drifts in instrument response are effectively suppressed, yielding high precision values. Temperature control of the instrument minimizes thermal drift thus maximizing ambient sampling time by decreasing calibration frequency. The CO2 measurement accuracy is closely tied to the accuracy of the standards obtained from NOAA/CMDL, Boulder, CO prior to the mission.

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Diode Laser Hygrometer

The DLH has been successfully flown during many previous field campaigns on several aircraft, most recently ACTIVATE (Falcon); FIREX-AQ, ATom, KORUS-AQ, and SEAC4RS (DC-8); POSIDON (WB-57); CARAFE (Sherpa); CAMP2Ex and DISCOVER-AQ (P-3); and ATTREX (Global Hawk). This sensor measures water vapor (H2O(v)) via absorption by one of three strong, isolated spectral lines near 1.4 μm and is comprised of a compact laser transceiver and a sheet of high grade retroflecting road sign material to form the optical path. Optical sampling geometry is aircraft-dependent, as each DLH instrument is custom-built to conform to aircraft geometric constraints. Using differential absorption detection techniques, H2O(v) is sensed along the 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 found in the literature and/or measured in the laboratory. Preliminary water vapor mixing ratio and derived relative humidities are provided in real-time to investigators.

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Cloud Physics Lidar

The Cloud Physics Lidar, or CPL, is a backscatter lidar designed to operate simultaneously at 3 wavelengths: 1064, 532, and 355 nm. The purpose of the CPL is to provide multi-wavelength measurements of cirrus, subvisual cirrus, and aerosols with high temporal and spatial resolution. Figure 1 shows the entire CPL package in flight configuration. The CPL utilizes state-of-the-art technology with a high repetition rate, low pulse energy laser and photon-counting detection. Vertical resolution of the CPL measurements is fixed at 30 m; horizontal resolution can vary but is typically about 200 m. The CPL fundamentally measures range-resolved profiles of volume 180-degree backscatter coefficients. From the fundamental measurement, various data products are derived, including: time-height crosssection images; cloud and aerosol layer boundaries; optical depth for clouds, aerosol layers, and planetary boundary layer (PBL); and extinction profiles. The CPL was designed to fly on the NASA ER-2 aircraft but is adaptable to other platforms. Because the ER-2 typically flies at about 65,000 feet (20 km), onboard instruments are above 94% of the earth’s atmosphere, allowing ER-2 instruments to function as spaceborne instrument simulators. The ER-2 provides a unique platform for atmospheric profiling, particularly for active remote sensing instruments such as lidar, because the spatial coverage attainable by the ER-2 permits studies of aerosol properties across wide regions. Lidar profiling from the ER-2 platform is especially valuable because the cloud height structure, up to the limit of signal attenuation, is unambiguously measured.

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Cloud Particle Imager

The CPI records high-resolution (2.3 micron pixel size) digital images of particles that pass through the sample volume at speeds up to 200 m/s. In older models, CCD camera flashes up to 75 frames per second (fps), potentially imaging more than 25 particles per frame. More recent camera upgrades capable of bringing frame rate to nearly 500 fps. Real time image processing crops particle images from the full frame, eliminating blank space and compressing data by >1000:1. CPI is designed for ummanned use, with AI parameters to optimize performance without supervision.

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