Technical Note: Characterisation of a DUALER instrument for the airborne measurement of peroxy radicals during AMMA 2006
1Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
2Institute of Atmospheric Physics, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
Abstract. A DUALER (dual-channel airborne peroxy radical chemical amplifier) instrument has been developed and optimised for the airborne measurement of the total sum of peroxy radicals during the AMMA (African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses) measurement campaign which took place in Burkina Faso in August 2006. The innovative feature of the instrument is that both reactors are sampling simultaneously from a common pre-reactor nozzle while the whole system is kept at a constant pressure to ensure more signal stability and accuracy.
Laboratory experiments were conducted to characterise the stability of the NO2 detector signal and the chain length with the pressure. The results show that airborne measurements using chemical amplification require constant pressure at the luminol detector. Wall losses of main peroxy radicals HO2 and CH3O2 were investigated. The chain length was experimentally determined for different ambient mixtures and compared with simulations performed by a chemical box model.
The DUALER instrument was successfully mounted within the German DLR-Falcon. The analysis of AMMA data utilises a validation procedure based on the O3 mixing ratios simultaneously measured onboard. The validation and analysis procedure is illustrated by means of the data measured during the AMMA campaign. The detection limit and the accuracy of the ambient measurements are also discussed.