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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 22 Jan 2019

Research article | 22 Jan 2019

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

The ICAD (Iterative Cavity Enhanced DOAS) Method

Martin Horbanski1,2, Denis Pöhler1,2, Johannes Lampel1,2, and Ulrich Platt1,2 Martin Horbanski et al.
  • 1Institute of Environmental Physics, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany
  • 2Airyx GmbH, Justus-von-Liebig-Str. 14, 69214 Eppelheim, Germany

Abstract. Cavity Enhanced Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (CE-DOAS or BB-CEAS DOAS) allows to make in-situ measurements while maintaining the km-long light paths required by DOAS. These technique have been successfully used for several years to measure in-situ atmospheric trace gases. A property of optical cavities is that in presence of strong absorbers or scatterers the light path is reduced, opposite to classical Long Path DOAS measurements. Typical CE-DOAS or BB-CEAS evaluation schemes correct this effect using the measured total light intensity attenuation. This makes them sensitive to any variations of the light intensity not arising from the trace gas absorption. That means an important DOAS advantage, to be independent of total light intensity, is actually lost. In order to cope with this problem, the instrument setup would require a thorough stabilisation of the light source and a very rigid mechanical setup, which would make instrumentation more complex and error prone.

We present a new approach to Cavity Enhanced (CE-) DOAS based on an iterative algorithm (ICAD) which actually models the light path reduction from the derived absorbers in the optical resonator. It allows a sensitive and robust data analysis that does not depend on the total light intensity allowing a simpler and more compact instrument setup. The algorithm is discussed and simulated measurements demonstrate its sensitivity and robustness. Furthermore, a new NO2 ICAD instrument is presented. It takes advantage of the advanced data evaluation to build a compact (50 cm cavity) and light weight instrument (<10 kg) with low power consumption (25 W) for sensitive measurements of NO2 with a detection limit of 0.02 ppbv at an averaging time of 7 minutes. The instrument is characterized with a NO2 calibration source and good long term stability is demonstrated in a comparison with a commercial chemiluminescence detector. As a new application of ICAD we show measurements on an auto mobile platform to investigate the two dimensional NO2 distribution in an urban area. The instrument is so robust that even strong vibrations do not lead to any measurement problems.

Martin Horbanski 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
Martin Horbanski et al.
Martin Horbanski et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
ICAD allows a precise in-situ measurement of gases like NO2 in a relative simple and compact setup. The main advantage in comparison to most other optical methods is that it does not require a stable total light intensity. This allows a simpler and mobile instrument setup and additionally it features no observed cross interferences. We validated the high quality for an ICAD NO2 in different inter-comparisons with a detection limit of 0.02 ppbv.
ICAD allows a precise in-situ measurement of gases like NO2 in a relative simple and compact...