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Proceedings Paper

Application of the NO/O3 chemiluminescence technique to measurements of reactive nitrogen species in the stratosphere
Author(s): David W. Fahey
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Paper Abstract

The NO/O3 chemiluminescence technique provides selectivity and high sensitivity for the measurement of NO in a flowing system. The technique requires the addition of reagent O3, produced by electric discharge in O2, and the detection of photons near 1 micrometers wavelength with a photomultiplier tube. The technique has been used extensively in measurements of reactive nitrogen species in the atmosphere with detection limits reaching as low as a few parts per trillion by volume (pptv) for NO. With a gold catalyst, other oxides of nitrogen can be converted to NO and detected, thereby providing a measurement of the sum of reactive nitrogen species, designated NOy. An instrument that measures NO or NOy on board the NASA high altitude ER-2 aircraft will be described. Missions of this aircraft have addressed stratospheric ozone depletion in both polar regions in recent years. The polar data provides evidence for the condensation of reactive nitrogen species on aerosol particles and for the removal of reactive nitrogen through the sedimentation of aerosol particles. These processes facilitate the destruction of ozone through catalytic cycles involving reactive chlorine species. In the future, similar instruments will address the chemical impact of proposed supersonic aircraft for civilian transport.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 1991
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1433, Measurement of Atmospheric Gases, (1 May 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.46165
Show Author Affiliations
David W. Fahey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Aeronomy Lab (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1433:
Measurement of Atmospheric Gases
Harold I. Schiff, Editor(s)

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