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Tropospheric Ozone and Tracers from Commercial Aircraft Platforms (TOTCAP)


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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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