Articles | Volume 5, issue 9
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 5, 2321–2327, 2012

Special issue: Carbon dioxide, other greenhouse gases, and related measurement...

Atmos. Meas. Tech., 5, 2321–2327, 2012

Research article 28 Sep 2012

Research article | 28 Sep 2012

An integrated flask sample collection system for greenhouse gas measurements

J. Turnbull1,2, D. Guenther2,3, A. Karion2,3, C. Sweeney2,3, E. Anderson2,3, A. Andrews3, J. Kofler2,3, N. Miles4, T. Newberger2,3, S. Richardson4, and P. Tans3 J. Turnbull et al.
  • 1National Isotope Center, GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
  • 2CIRES, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 3NOAA/ESRL, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 4Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA

Abstract. A one hour integrated flask sampling system to collect air in automated NOAA/ESRL 12-flask packages is described. The integrating compressor system uses a mass flow controller to regulate the flow of air through a 15 l volume, thus providing a mixture of air collected over an hour-long period. By beginning with a high flow rate of 3.8 standard liters per minute and gradually decreasing the flow rate over time to 0.29 standard liters per minute it is possible to obtain a nearly uniformly time averaged sample of air and collect it into a pressurized 0.7 l flask. The weighting function determining the air mixture obtained is described in detail. Laboratory and field tests demonstrate that the integrated sample approximates a simple mean of air collected during the one-hour sampling time.