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Authors: Dragoneas, Antonis
Molleker, Sergej
Appel, Oliver
Hünig, Andreas
Böttger, Thomas
Hermann, Markus
Drewnick, Frank
Schneider, Johannes
Weigel, Ralf
Borrmann, Stephan
Title: The realization of autonomous, aircraft-based, real-time aerosol mass spectrometry in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere
Online publication date: 13-Apr-2023
Year of first publication: 2022
Language: english
Abstract: We report on the developments that enabled the field deployment of a fully automated aerosol mass spectrometer, especially designed for high-altitude measurements on unpressurized aircraft. The merits of the two main categories of real-time aerosol mass spectrometry, i.e. (a) single-particle laser desorption and ionization and (b) continuous thermal desorption and electron impact ionization of aerosols, have been integrated into one compact apparatus with the aim to perform in situ real-time analysis of aerosol chemical composition. The demonstrated instrument, named the ERICA (European Research Council Instrument for Chemical composition of Aerosols), operated successfully aboard the high-altitude research aircraft M-55 Geophysica at altitudes up to 20 km while being exposed to ambient conditions of very low atmospheric pressure and temperature. A primary goal of those field deployments was the in situ study of the Asian tropopause aerosol layer (ATAL). During 11 research flights, the instrument operated for more than 49 h and collected chemical composition information of more than 150 000 single particles combined with quantitative chemical composition analysis of aerosol particle ensembles. This paper presents in detail the technical characteristics of the main constituent parts of the instrument, as well as the design considerations for its integration into the aircraft and its autonomous operation in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS). Additionally, system performance data from the first field deployments of the instrument are presented and discussed, together with exemplary mass spectrometry data collected during those flights.
DDC: 530 Physik
530 Physics
540 Chemie
540 Chemistry and allied sciences
600 Technik
600 Technology (Applied sciences)
620 Ingenieurwissenschaften und Maschinenbau
620 Engineering and allied operations
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 08 Physik, Mathematik u. Informatik
FB 09 Chemie, Pharmazie u. Geowissensch.
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Document type specification: Scientific article
License: CC BY
Information on rights of use:
Journal: Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
Pages or article number: 5719
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH EGU
Publisher place: Katlenburg-Lindau
Issue date: 2022
ISSN: 1680-7375
Publisher DOI: 10.5194/amt-15-5719-2022
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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