J. Phys. IV France
Volume 139, December 2006
Page(s) 321 - 336
From Regional Climate Modelling to the Exploration of Venus
C. Boutron
J. Phys. IV France 139 (2006) 321-336

DOI: 10.1051/jp4:2006139021

Civil aircraft in global atmospheric chemistry research and monitoring

C.A.M. Brenninkmeijer

Max-Planck-Institute for Chemistry, Atmospheric Chemistry Division, POB 3060, 55020 Mainz, Germany

(Published online: 9 January 2007)

A system as complex and extensive as the earth's atmosphere with its chemistry involving gases and particles requires many observations for understanding its workings and following its changes. A logical yet unusual, but potentially extremely powerful way is to use civil aircraft in regular service for making measurements and thus lending science a helping hand. There are 3 such aircraft systems in operation and development which are briefly discussed with emphasis on a container based project, named CARIBIC. It is shown which regions of the atmosphere can be probed, what different air masses are encountered, and what one can measure using a container inside an aircraft as a compact automated laboratory. This is illustrated by 3 examples.

© EDP Sciences 2006