Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2842
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2842
30 Nov 2023
 | 30 Nov 2023

In-flight characterization of a compact airborne quantum cascade laser absorption spectrometer

Linda Ort, Lenard Lukas Röder, Uwe Parchatka, Rainer Königstedt, Daniel Crowley, Frank Kunz, Ralf Wittkowski, Jos Lelieveld, and Horst Fischer

Abstract. Here, we report the development of a new Quantum cascade Laser infrared Absorption Spectroscopy (QLAS) instrument, the Airborne Tropospheric Tracer In-situ Laser Absorption spectrometer (ATTILA), for atmospheric trace gas measurements on board of the German High-Altitude Long-range Observatory (HALO) aircraft. Its small and light design makes it suitable for airborne measurements up to approximately 150 hPa of ambient pressure (13–14 km). The dual laser instrument can measure several trace gases simultaneously in two 36.4-m-path astigmatic Herriott cells with a data acquisition frequency of 1 Hz. We describe the measurement method and the data acquisition of ATTILA and its in-flight performance by focusing on potential sources of influences on the signal, which we investigated with a dedicated test flight during which the instrument sampled from a constant source. We show that linear critical influences associated with challenging movement patterns can be corrected afterwards, while non-linear limitations can be minimized by appropriate calibration frequencies and integrated time intervals. During the recent aircraft campaign CAFE-Brazil (Chemistry of the Atmosphere Field Experiment in Brazil) from December 2022 to January 2023, carbon monoxide (CO) measurements from ATTILA show a good agreement of a R2 of 0.89 with simultaneous CO measurements from an established IR spectrometer for airborne measurements, the TRacer In-Situ Tdlas for Atmospheric Research (TRISTAR), on a 10 s time resolution. First dynamical characteristics and tracer distributions of CO and methane (CH4) over the Amazon rainforest can be identified with ATTILA measurements with a total measurement uncertainty of 10.1 % and 17.5 % and a data accuracy of 0.3 % and 5.5 % for a data acquisition frequency of 1 Hz for CO and CH4, respectively.

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Linda Ort, Lenard Lukas Röder, Uwe Parchatka, Rainer Königstedt, Daniel Crowley, Frank Kunz, Ralf Wittkowski, Jos Lelieveld, and Horst Fischer

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2842', J. Barry McManus, 06 Feb 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', Linda Martina Ort, 25 Apr 2024
  • CC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2842', Jingsong Li, 13 Feb 2024
    • AC4: 'Reply on CC2', Linda Martina Ort, 25 Apr 2024
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2842', Anonymous Referee #1, 22 Feb 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Linda Martina Ort, 25 Apr 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2842', Anonymous Referee #2, 02 Mar 2024
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Linda Martina Ort, 25 Apr 2024

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2842', J. Barry McManus, 06 Feb 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', Linda Martina Ort, 25 Apr 2024
  • CC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2842', Jingsong Li, 13 Feb 2024
    • AC4: 'Reply on CC2', Linda Martina Ort, 25 Apr 2024
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2842', Anonymous Referee #1, 22 Feb 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Linda Martina Ort, 25 Apr 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2842', Anonymous Referee #2, 02 Mar 2024
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Linda Martina Ort, 25 Apr 2024
Linda Ort, Lenard Lukas Röder, Uwe Parchatka, Rainer Königstedt, Daniel Crowley, Frank Kunz, Ralf Wittkowski, Jos Lelieveld, and Horst Fischer
Linda Ort, Lenard Lukas Röder, Uwe Parchatka, Rainer Königstedt, Daniel Crowley, Frank Kunz, Ralf Wittkowski, Jos Lelieveld, and Horst Fischer

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Short summary
Airborne in-situ measurements are of great importance to collect valuable atmospheric data to improve our knowledge of existing processes, but also hold challenges which demand specific designs. This study presents an IR spectrometer for airborne trace gas measurements with high data efficiency and a simple, compact design. Its performance is characterized with the help of a test flight and a comparison with another spectrometer. Moreover, results from its first campaign highlight its benefits.