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Content archived on 2024-05-14

Civil aircraft for remote sensing and in-situ measurements in troposphere and lower stratosphere based on the instrumentation container concept


a) To develop a set of dedicated automated equipment for installation in a passenger aircraft container;
b) To perform a series of approximately 20 flights for in situ measurements as well as sample collection and subsequent laboratory analysis;
c) To evaluate and interpret the observations using flight data, additional meteorological data and modelling.
The project has shown that is it possible to use a passenger aircraft to obtain a broad range of relevant data. A large amount of data has become available. A fraction of these data have been used so far, and given useful publications in the scientific literature.
The automated equipment to be developed, constructed, tested and integrated consists of:
1. Whole Air Sampler (WAS), consisting of compressor(s) and sample containers;
2. Multisample collector for particles in the submicrometer range; 3. In situ 3 channel particle spectrometer;
4. In situ NOx analyzer.
The air samples will be analyzed in the laboratory for trace gas composition, complemented by isotopic analysis.
In addition a set of accelerator and nuclear microprobe based techniques for near complete chemical and
elemental speciation of the aerosol will be developed and applied.
The above equipment will be integrated in an existing dedicated freight container used in the current first phase
of CARIBIC, which has a more limited package concerning the aerosol and gas collection, but which has a semi
continuous CO analyzer and 03 analyzer. These analyzers will complement the equipment listed above.
The existing container also has a central computer control unit, power supply, cooling unit and safety devices.
The choice of equipment deployed during the flights may vary, and will be optimised in the course of the series
of measurement flights.
The aircraft selected is a Boeing 767 owned and operated by the company LTU AIRWAYS based in D|sseldorf,
which has a large and expanding fleet of medium and large size passenger aircraft. This aircraft will have a
permanent air inlet system mounted below the front cargo bay. The relevant flight parameters will be made
available for integration with the measurement data. There is presently relatively little control over the flight
routes that can be used. The aircraft is in continuous operation and the most likely route is to the Maldives. This
gives a unique possibility to fly in the troposphere and stratosphere. The inlet system is mounted below the
container to minimize sample inlet tube length.
The additional meteorological data consist of maps of potential vorticity and back trajectories calculated using
the ECMWF data. The interpretation will use the latest
chemistry-transport models.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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55020 MAINZ

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Total cost
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Participants (4)