Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-254
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-254

  04 Oct 2021

04 Oct 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Fill dynamics and sample mixing in the AirCore 

Pieter P. Tans Pieter P. Tans
  • Global Monitoring Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305

Abstract. The AirCore is a long coiled tube that acts as a “tape recorder” of the composition of air as it is slowly filled or flushed. When launched by balloon with one end of the tube open and the other closed, the initial fill air flows out during ascent as the outside air pressure drops. During descent atmospheric air flows back in. We describe how we can associate the position of an air parcel in the tube with the altitude it came from by modeling the dynamics of the fill process. The conditions that need to be satisfied for the model to be accurate are derived. The extent of mixing of air parcels that enter at different times is calculated, so that we know how many independent samples are in the tube upon landing, and later when the AirCore is analyzed.

Pieter P. Tans

Status: open (until 09 Nov 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Pieter P. Tans

Pieter P. Tans

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Short summary
The AirCore collects a continuous air sample in a long tube, which can be “read” later when the captured air is slowly pushed through an analyzer. Much of the variation of gas composition encountered during collection is preserved, like having up to ~100 separate air samples. This is illustrated through examples of actual flights, and the analysis algorithm is described. AirCore provides access to air as high as the mid-stratosphere, enabling validation for satellite air composition soundings.