U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


Aerosol Measurement Capabilities Improved in Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Project
Published: June 25, 2003
Posted: July 28, 2003

A research project at Aerodyne Research, Inc. funded by DOE's SBIR program in collaboration with the Office of Science's Atmospheric Science Program has developed and deployed a versatile aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) that can be mounted in aircraft for use in field campaigns to analyze aerosols in the atmosphere in virtually real time. Aerosols continue to be a major issue in climate change research because they affect the radiation budget of the Earth's atmosphere at local to global scales. Understanding the effects of aerosols, however, has been hindered by the lack of real-time, size-resolved quantitative measurements of their chemical composition. In a number of deployments of the AMS in an aircraft, measurements using the instrument demonstrated its ability to distinguish between aerosols that result from primary (combustion) sources from those due to secondary processes (condensation of volatile organic gases) and to differentiate between small hydrocarbon 'soot' particles from large mixed oxygenated organic/sulfate particles. Such capabilities will enable the identification of regional and local contributions to urban and rural aerosol budgets. The AMS instrument is autonomous, light-weight, and small enough in size to deploy on aircraft limited to small payloads. It is expected to provide in situ measurement capabilities of aerosols for research on aerosol sources and composition, ambient pollution monitoring, chemical and biological warfare agent identification, and other applications.

Contact: Rick Petty, SC-74, 301-903-5548
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Atmospheric System Research

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER
      (formerly SC-74 Environmental Sciences Division, OBER)

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Aug 24, 2019
New Approach for Studying How Microbes Influence Their Environment
A diverse group of scientists suggests a common framework and targeting of known microbial processes [more...]

Aug 08, 2019
Nutrient-Hungry Peatland Microbes Reduce Carbon Loss Under Warmer Conditions
Enzyme production in peatlands reduces carbon lost to respiration under future high temperatures. [more...]

Aug 05, 2019
Amazon Forest Response to CO2 Fertilization Dependent on Plant Phosphorus Acquisition
AmazonFACE Model Intercomparison. The Science Plant growth is dependent on the availabi [more...]

Jul 29, 2019
A Slippery Slope: Soil Carbon Destabilization
Carbon gain or loss depends on the balance between competing biological, chemical, and physical reac [more...]

Jul 15, 2019
Field Evaluation of Gas Analyzers for Measuring Ecosystem Fluxes
How gas analyzer type and correction method impact measured fluxes. The Science A side- [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)