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NOAA ESRL CCGG Aircraft Profiling Network
Contact Colm Sweeney ph. 303-497-4771 colm.sweeney@noaa.gov
Airborne Measurements
The aircraft profiling network consists of automated gas sampling systems flown on small, chartered aircraft in the U.S. (16 sites), Canada (2 sites) and other international locations (2 sites). Pilots fly a descending spiral from ~25,000 ft (site / aircraft dependent) to 1000 ft AGL. Holding ~every 2000 ft to collect air samples. Samples collected facilitate measurements of carbon cycle & greenhouse gases with the goal of determining carbon dioxide emission (sources) and uptake (sinks) in and around the U.S. In addition, a subset of these samples are used to study the distribution, transport, sources and sinks of carbon monoxide and methane in the troposphere using, among others, the NASA EOS Terra satellite. These sampling flights serve to verify the information gathered via satellite. Both programs involve research by NOAA, the NSF, NASA, the DOE, the Department of Agriculture, and the USGS.
ManufacturerNOAA ESRL GMD
DimensionsFlask package 29" x 21" x 10" Compressor package 24" x 20" x 10"
WeightApprox 50lbs x 2
Power Source TypeBattery
Inlet Apertures3/8"
Heating/Cooling RequirementsNA
Airspeed/Altitude RequirementsNA
Operators Required1 (pilot)
Ground Requirements120V
Suitable PlatformsSmall aircraft, tower
Data System
Measured ParameterCO2, CH4, H2, SF6, N20, CO, halocarbons, carbon isotopes, VOCs
Measurement TechniqueGC and NDIR
Operational Modecontinuous
Time Resolutionbi-weekly
Horizontal Resolution500km
Other Resolutionvertical
Precision0.1ppm (CO2)
Accuracy0.1 (CO2)
Calibration MethodReference to WMO standards
3 Sep 2009 13:47