Field testing of cavity ring-down spectroscopy analyzers measuring carbon dioxide and water vapor

Scott J. Richardson, Natasha L. Miles, Kenneth J. Davis, Eric R. Crosson, Chris W. Rella, Arlyn E. Andrews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Prevalent methods for making high-accuracy tower-based measurements of the CO 2 mixing ratio, notably nondispersive infrared spectroscopy (NDIR), require frequent system calibration and sample drying. Wavelength-scanned cavity ring-down spectroscopy (WS-CRDS) is an emerging laser-based technique with the advantages of improved stability and concurrent water vapor measurements. Results are presented from 30 months of field measurements from WS-CRDS systems at five sites in the upper Midwest of the United States. These systems were deployed in support of the North American Carbon Program's Mid-Continent Intensive (MCI) from May 2007 to November 2009. Excluding one site, 2σ of quasi-daily magnitudes of the drifts, before applying field calibrations, are less than 0.38 ppm over the entire 30-month field deployment. After applying field calibrations using known tanks sampled every 20 h, residuals from known values are, depending on site, from 0.02 ± 0.14 to 0.17 ± 0.07 ppm. Eight months of WS-CRDS measurements collocated with a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administrations (NOAA)/Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) NDIR system at West Branch, Iowa, show median daytime-only differences of -0.13 ± 0.63 ppm on a daily time scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-406
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Field testing of cavity ring-down spectroscopy analyzers measuring carbon dioxide and water vapor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this