Calibration and Verification Instrumentation for the International (WMO) Scale of Dry Mole Fraction

Period of Performance: 01/01/2006 - 12/31/2006


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Atmospheric Observing Systems, Inc.
1930 Central Avenue, Suite A
Boulder, CO 80301
Principal Investigator


Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas, and improved in situ instruments are needed to track its flow throughout the global carbon cycle. Such instruments must be cost effective with regard to both hardware and operations; require little maintenance for deployments to the air, land, and sea; and provide accurate and precise measurements with negligible artifacts. This project will develop a suite of three instruments that can aid in the calibration and verification of CO2 observations made by grab sample: (1) the Dry Mole Fraction (DMF) Verifier, which will calibrate the in situ performance of certain critical technologies used by NOAA in its global network of sampling stations; (2) the Portable CO2 Analysis Station, which will allow the timely analysis of flask samples that are often used to verify the operation of airborne analyzer systems; and (3) the DMF CO2 Generator, a new technology that can provide the high precision gas streams needed to calibrate the operation of many high precision analyzer systems. All three instruments will be built in Phase I. System noises will be evaluated for each, and the probable origins of the noise will be investigated. A field test will be conducted at a remote location to evaluate all three instruments as a single suite of instrumentation. Commercial Applications And Other Benefits as descibed by the Applicant: The technology would provide high-precision gas streams that are compact and inexpensive enough for use in high-precision analyzer systems for atmospheric trace gases