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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.

Submitted as: research article 01 Jul 2019

Submitted as: research article | 01 Jul 2019

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

iDirac: a field-portable instrument for long-term autonomous measurements of isoprene and selected VOCs

Conor G. Bolas1, Valerio Ferracci2, Andrew D. Robinson3, Mohamad I. Mead2, Mohd Shahrul Mohd Nadzir4, John A. Pyle1,5, Roderic L. Jones1, and Neil R. P. Harris1,2 Conor G. Bolas et al.
  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Lensfield Road, Cambridge, CB2 1EW, UK
  • 2Centre for Environmental and Agricultural Informatics, Cranfield University, College Road, Cranfield, MK43 0AL, UK
  • 3Schlumberger Cambridge Research, Madingley Rd, Cambridge, CB3 0EL, UK
  • 4School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
  • 5National Centre for Atmospheric Science, NCAS, UK

Abstract. The iDirac is a new instrument to measure selected hydrocarbons in the remote atmosphere. A robust design is central to its specifications, with portability, power efficiency, low gas consumption and autonomy as the other driving factors in the instrument development. The iDirac is a dual-column isothermal oven gas chromatograph with photoionisation detection (GC-PID). The instrument is designed and built in-house. It features a modular design, with novel use of open-source technology for accurate instrument control. Currently configured to measure biogenic isoprene, the system is suitable for a range of compounds. For isoprene measurements in the field, the instrument precision (relative standard deviation) is ± 11 %, with a limit of detection down to 38 pmol mol−1 (or ppt). The instrument was first tested in the field in 2015 in a ground-based campaign, and has since shown itself suitable for deployment in a variety of environments and platforms. This paper describes the instrument design, operation and performance based on laboratory tests in a controlled environment, and during deployments in forests in Malaysian Borneo and in Central England.

Conor G. Bolas et al.
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Conor G. Bolas et al.
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