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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-2019-153
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-153
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 20 May 2019

Research article | 20 May 2019

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

CAFE: a new, improved non-resonant laser-induced fluorescence instrument for airborne in situ measurement of formaldehyde

Jason M. St. Clair1,2, Andrew K. Swanson1,3, Steven A. Bailey1, and Thomas F. Hanisco1 Jason M. St. Clair et al.
  • 1Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, 20771, USA
  • 2Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD, 21228, USA
  • 3Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research, Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, MD, 21046, USA

Abstract. NASA Compact Airborne Formadehyde Experiment (CAFE) is a non-resonant laser-induced fluorescence instrument for airborne in situ measurement of formaldehyde (HCHO). The instrument is described here with highlighted improvements from the predecessor instrument, COmpact Formaldehyde FluorescencE Experiment (COFFEE). CAFE uses a 480 mW, 80 kHz laser at 355 nm to excite HCHO and detects the resulting fluorescence in the 420–480 nm range. The fluorescence is acquired at 5 ns resolution for 500 ns and the unique time profile of the HCHO fluorescence provides measurement selectivity. CAFE achieves a 1-sigma precision of 160 pptv (1 s) and 90 pptv (10 s) for [HCHO] = 0 pptv. CAFE has successfully flown on multiple aircraft platforms and is particularly well-suited to high altitude research aircraft or small air quality research aircraft where high sensitivity is required but operator interaction and instrument payload is limited.

Jason M. St. Clair et al.
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Short summary
NASA Compact Airborne Formadehyde Experiment (CAFE) is a non-resonant laser-induced fluorescence instrument for airborne in situ measurement of formaldehyde (HCHO). The instrument is described here with highlighted improvements from the predecessor instrument, COmpact Formaldehyde FluorescencE Experiment (COFFEE).
NASA Compact Airborne Formadehyde Experiment (CAFE) is a non-resonant laser-induced fluorescence...
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