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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-214
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-214
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 17 Sep 2018

Research article | 17 Sep 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Identification of platform exhaust on the RV Investigator

Ruhi S. Humphries1, Ian M. McRobert2, Will A. Ponsonby2, Jason P. Ward1, Melita D. Keywood1, Zoe Loh1, Paul B. Krummel1, and James Harnwell1 Ruhi S. Humphries et al.
  • 1Climate Science Centre, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Aspendale, Australia
  • 2Engineering and Technology Program, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Hobart, Australia

Abstract. Ship-based measurements are an important component in developing an understanding of the global atmosphere. A common problem that impacts the quality of atmospheric data collected from marine research vessels is exhaust from both diesel combustion and waste incineration from the ship itself. Described here is an algorithm, developed for the recently commissioned Australian blue-water Research Vessel (RV) Investigator, that identifies exhaust periods in sampled air. The RV Investigator, with two dedicated atmospheric laboratories, represents an unprecedented opportunity for high quality measurements of the marine atmosphere. The algorithm avoids using ancillary data such as wind speed and direction, and instead utilises components of the exhaust itself – aerosol number concentration, black carbon concentration, and carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide mixing ratios. The exhaust signal is identified within each of these parameters individually before they are combined and an additional window filter is applied. The algorithm relies heavily on statistical methods, rather than setting thresholds that are too rigid to accommodate potential temporal changes. The algorithm is more effective than traditional wind-based filters in removing exhaust data without removing exhaust-free data which commonly occurs with traditional filters. With suitable testing, the algorithm has the potential to be applied to other ship-based atmospheric measurements where suitable measurements exist.

Ruhi S. Humphries et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Ruhi S. Humphries et al.
Ruhi S. Humphries et al.
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Short summary
Undertaking atmospheric observations from ships provides important data in regions where measurements are impossible by other means. However, making measurements so close to a diesel exhaust plume is difficult. In this paper, we describe an algorithm that utilised ongoing measurements of aerosol number concentrations, black carbon mass concentrations, and mixing ratios carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide to accurately distinguish between exhaust and background data periods.
Undertaking atmospheric observations from ships provides important data in regions where...
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