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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 26 Jan 2018

Research article | 26 Jan 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

LISA: a lightweight stratospheric air sampler

Joram J. D. Hooghiem1, Marcel de Vries1, Henk A. Been1, Pauli Heikkinen2, Rigel Kivi2, and Huilin Chen1 Joram J. D. Hooghiem et al.
  • 1Center for Isotope Research (CIO), Energy and Sustainability Institute Groningen (ESRIG), University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 6, 9747 AG Groningen, the Netherlands
  • 2Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Earth Observation Research, Tähteläntie 62 99600 Sodankylä, Finland

Abstract. We developed a new LIghtweight Stratospheric Air sampler (LISA). The LISA sampler is designed to collect four bag samples in the stratosphere during a balloon flight for CO2, CH4 and CO mole fraction measurements. It consists of 4 Multi-Layer Foil (MLF) sampling bags, a custom-made manifold, and a diaphragm pump, with a total weight of ~2.5kg. A series of laboratory storage tests were performed to assess the stability of CO2, CH4, CO and H2O mole fractions in both MLF and Tedlar bags. The MLF bag was chosen due to its better overall performance than the Tedlar bag for the four species CO2, CH4, CO and H2O. Furthermore, we evaluated the performance of the pump under low-pressure conditions to optimise a trade-off between the vertical resolution and the sample size.

The LISA sampler was flown on the same balloon flight with an AirCore in Sodankylä, Finland (67.368°N, 26.633°E, 179ma.s.l.) on 26 April and 4–7 September, 2017. A total of 15 stratospheric air samples were obtained during the ascent of four flights. The sample size ranges between 800 to 180mL for the altitude between 12 and 25km, with the corresponding vertical resolution ranging from 0.5 to 1.5km. The collected air samples were analysed for CO2, CH4 and CO mole fractions, and evaluated against AirCore retrieved profiles, showing mean differences of 0.84ppm for CO2, 1.8ppb for CH4 and 6.3ppb for CO, respectively.

High-accuracy stratospheric measurements of greenhouse gas mole fractions are useful to validate remote sensing measurements from ground and from space, which has been primarily performed by comparison with collocated aircraft measurements (0.15–13km), and more recently with AirCore observations (0–30km). While AirCore is capable of achieving high-accuracy greenhouse gas mole fraction measurements, it is challenging to obtain accurate altitude registration for AirCore measurements. The LISA sampler provides a viable low-cost tool for retrieving stratospheric air samples for greenhouse gas measurements that is complementary to AirCore. Furthermore, The LISA sampler is advantageous in both the vertical resolution and the sample size to perform routine stratospheric measurements of isotopic compositions of trace gases.

Joram J. D. Hooghiem et al.
Interactive discussion
Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Joram J. D. Hooghiem et al.
Joram J. D. Hooghiem et al.
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Short summary
We have developed a lightweight stratospheric air sampler, named LISA, for measurements of CO2, CH4, and CO mole fractions. The LISA sampler is capable of grabbing stratospheric air samples at an altitude of up to 30 km and provides a useful tool for routine stratospheric measurements of both mole fractions and isotopic compositions of trace gases.
We have developed a lightweight stratospheric air sampler, named LISA, for measurements of CO2,...