An Evaluation of Calibration Techniques for In Situ Carbon Dioxide Measurements Using a Programmable Portable Trace-Gas Measuring System

Sean P. Burns National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Anthony C. Delany National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Jielun Sun National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Britton B. Stephens National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Steven P. Oncley National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Gordon D. Maclean National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Steven R. Semmer National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Joel Schröter Department of Micrometeorology, University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany

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Johannes Ruppert Department of Micrometeorology, University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany

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Abstract

The construction and deployment of a portable trace-gas measurement system (TGaMS) is described. The air-collection system (dubbed HYDRA) collects air samples from 18 different locations and was connected to either one or two LI-COR LI-7000 gas analyzers to measure CO2. An in situ “field calibration” method, that uses four calibration gases with an uncertainty on the order of ±0.1 μmol mol−1 relative to the WMO CO2 mole fraction scale, revealed CO2 output from the LI-7000 had a slightly nonlinear relationship relative to the CO2 concentration of the calibration gases. The sensitivity of the field-calibrated CO2 to different forms of the field-calibration equation is investigated. To evaluate TGaMS performance, CO2 from collocated inlets, portable gas cylinders, and nearby independent CO2 instruments are compared. Results are as follows: 1) CO2 measurements from HYDRA multiple inlets are feasible with a reproducibility of ±0.4 μmol mol−1 (based on the standard deviation of the CO2 difference between collocated inlets when HYDRA was operating with two LI-7000s); 2) CO2 differences among the various field-calibration equations were on the order of ±0.3 μmol mol−1; and 3) comparison of midday hourly CO2 measurements at 30 m AGL between TGaMS and an independent high-accuracy CO2 measurement system (within 300 m of TGaMS) had a median difference and standard deviation of 0.04 ± 0.81 μmol mol−1 over two months.

* Additional affiliation: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

+ Retired

# Current affiliation: Meteorology and Air Quality Group, Wageningen University, Netherlands

@ Current affiliation: Environmental Measuring Department, Research Institute of the Cement Industry, Duesseldorf, Germany

& The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation

Corresponding author address: Sean P. Burns, NCAR/MMM/TIIMES, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307-3000. Email: sean@ucar.edu

Abstract

The construction and deployment of a portable trace-gas measurement system (TGaMS) is described. The air-collection system (dubbed HYDRA) collects air samples from 18 different locations and was connected to either one or two LI-COR LI-7000 gas analyzers to measure CO2. An in situ “field calibration” method, that uses four calibration gases with an uncertainty on the order of ±0.1 μmol mol−1 relative to the WMO CO2 mole fraction scale, revealed CO2 output from the LI-7000 had a slightly nonlinear relationship relative to the CO2 concentration of the calibration gases. The sensitivity of the field-calibrated CO2 to different forms of the field-calibration equation is investigated. To evaluate TGaMS performance, CO2 from collocated inlets, portable gas cylinders, and nearby independent CO2 instruments are compared. Results are as follows: 1) CO2 measurements from HYDRA multiple inlets are feasible with a reproducibility of ±0.4 μmol mol−1 (based on the standard deviation of the CO2 difference between collocated inlets when HYDRA was operating with two LI-7000s); 2) CO2 differences among the various field-calibration equations were on the order of ±0.3 μmol mol−1; and 3) comparison of midday hourly CO2 measurements at 30 m AGL between TGaMS and an independent high-accuracy CO2 measurement system (within 300 m of TGaMS) had a median difference and standard deviation of 0.04 ± 0.81 μmol mol−1 over two months.

* Additional affiliation: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

+ Retired

# Current affiliation: Meteorology and Air Quality Group, Wageningen University, Netherlands

@ Current affiliation: Environmental Measuring Department, Research Institute of the Cement Industry, Duesseldorf, Germany

& The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation

Corresponding author address: Sean P. Burns, NCAR/MMM/TIIMES, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307-3000. Email: sean@ucar.edu

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