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Taking CHARON PTR-TOF to the Sky

At the Frontier of Airborne Research aboard NASA’s Flying Laboratory

Using the opportunity provided by NASA’s Student Airborne Research Program (SARP) we gave wings to our newly developed CHARON aerosol inlet. In cooperation with the University of Oslo our team combined CHARON and a custom built PTR-TOF 4000 instrument.

“Business Class” for our airworthy CHARON PTR-TOF 4000, monitoring VOCs & aerosol in real-time.

Airworthiness requires withstanding of heavy G-forces, coping with pressure changes and most importantly being fail safe. Therefore unique modifications to CHARON have been made and thoroughly tested before getting airborne.

Our team was based at Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC), in the Mojave Desert for three weeks during June, to install the system in the DC-8 Flying Laboratory and prepare it for the first airborne measurements ever conducted by a CHARON enabled PTR-TOF.

Our IMPACT ESR, Felix Piel, boarding the NASA DC-8 research aircraft.

Flying within the boundary layer over the Central Valley in California or through wildfire plumes, pushed the instrument as well as the operators to their limits. CHARON performed admirably under these demanding conditions and we could gather promising data from anthropogenic and biogenic emissions sources. First results were already presented by Felix Piel at the IMSC in Florence this August. The campaign will also contribute to Felix’ PhD which he currently is enrolled in at the University of Innsbruck.

Be in touch with us for more info on CHARON, consult with us for an upgrade of your IONICON PTR-TOF or get the most versatile new instrument available for trace organic gas & particle monitoring, a CHARON-PTR-TOFMS, exclusively from IONICON.

This research is partly supported through a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network “IMPACT” supported by the European Commission’s HORIZON 2020 Programme under Grant Agreement Number 674911.

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