Diode laser-based sensor for high precision measurements of ambient CO2 in network applications
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The increasing need for better spatial and temporal measurements of greenhouse gases, especially CO2, to support global climate change modeling is driving the expansion of monitoring networks. Currently, networks making ambient CO2 measurements use environmentally stabilized sensors based on non-dispersive infrared absorption spectroscopy. To expand both measurement capability and coverage, much work is underway to develop highly accurate, reliable yet economical sensors for the greenhouse gases. The US Department of Energy has created specifications for a new sensor that has high performance but at a cost that permits widespread deployment. We report on a sensor designed to meet this need. We have demonstrated a compact, automated, high precision sensor for ambient CO2 that offers good performance in an economical package. The sensor is a near-IR diode laser-based absorption spectrometer operating near 2 μm and using Integrated Cavity Output Spectroscopy (ICOS). Field demonstrations were carried out at both the UNH/AirMap Thompson Farm Observatory and the NOAA Boulder Atmospheric Observatory. The sensor has a demonstrated precision of between 0.090 and 0.125 ppmv for a 30 sec acquisition, or 1 part in 3000 to 4000.
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