Articles | Volume 14, issue 2
Research article
22 Feb 2021
Research article |  | 22 Feb 2021

Compact and lightweight mid-infrared laser spectrometer for balloon-borne water vapor measurements in the UTLS

Manuel Graf, Philipp Scheidegger, André Kupferschmid, Herbert Looser, Thomas Peter, Ruud Dirksen, Lukas Emmenegger, and Béla Tuzson

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Short summary
Water vapor is the most important natural greenhouse gas. The accurate and frequent measurement of its abundance, especially in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS), is technically challenging. We developed and characterized a mid-IR absorption spectrometer for highly accurate water vapor measurements in the UTLS. The instrument is sufficiently small and lightweight (3.9 kg) to be carried by meteorological balloons, which enables frequent and cost-effective soundings.