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A Near-Infrared Diode Laser Spectrometer for the In Situ Measurement of Methane and Water Vapor from Stratospheric Balloons

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  • 1 Institut Pierre-Simon-Laplace, Service d'Aéronomie, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, France
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Abstract

The Spectromètre à Diodes Laser Accordables (SDLA), a balloonborne near-infrared diode laser spectrometer, was developed to provide simultaneous in situ measurements of methane and water vapor in the troposphere and the lower stratosphere. The instrument was flown several times from stratospheric balloons operated by the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales within the framework of the Third European Stratospheric Experiment on Ozone in 1998–2000. The SDLA is based on a multipass optical cell open to the atmosphere. Two near-infrared telecommunication-type laser diodes are connected with optical fibers to the cell to take in situ absorption spectra of methane (in the 6047 cm−1 spectral region) and water vapor (in the 7181 cm−1 spectral region) at 1-s intervals. Mixing ratios are obtained, with a precision error of within 5%–10%, from a nonlinear fit to the full molecular line shape in conjunction with in situ pressure and temperature measurements. The SDLA is described, and achieved atmospheric methane and water vapor vertical concentration profiles are reported.

Corresponding author address: Georges Durry, CNRS/Service d'Aeronomie, Reduit de Verrieres, BP 3, Verrieres-le-Buisson Cedex 91371, France. Email: georges.durry@aerov.jussieu.fr

Abstract

The Spectromètre à Diodes Laser Accordables (SDLA), a balloonborne near-infrared diode laser spectrometer, was developed to provide simultaneous in situ measurements of methane and water vapor in the troposphere and the lower stratosphere. The instrument was flown several times from stratospheric balloons operated by the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales within the framework of the Third European Stratospheric Experiment on Ozone in 1998–2000. The SDLA is based on a multipass optical cell open to the atmosphere. Two near-infrared telecommunication-type laser diodes are connected with optical fibers to the cell to take in situ absorption spectra of methane (in the 6047 cm−1 spectral region) and water vapor (in the 7181 cm−1 spectral region) at 1-s intervals. Mixing ratios are obtained, with a precision error of within 5%–10%, from a nonlinear fit to the full molecular line shape in conjunction with in situ pressure and temperature measurements. The SDLA is described, and achieved atmospheric methane and water vapor vertical concentration profiles are reported.

Corresponding author address: Georges Durry, CNRS/Service d'Aeronomie, Reduit de Verrieres, BP 3, Verrieres-le-Buisson Cedex 91371, France. Email: georges.durry@aerov.jussieu.fr

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