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Volume 9, issue 12 | Copyright

Special issue: CHemistry and AeRosols Mediterranean EXperiments (ChArMEx)...

Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 5811-5832, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-9-5811-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 05 Dec 2016

Research article | 05 Dec 2016

Adapted ECC ozonesonde for long-duration flights aboard boundary-layer pressurised balloons

François Gheusi1, Pierre Durand1, Nicolas Verdier2, François Dulac3, Jean-Luc Attié1,4, Philippe Commun5, Brice Barret1, Claude Basdevant6, Antoine Clenet2, Solène Derrien1, Alexis Doerenbecher4, Laaziz El Amraoui4, Alain Fontaine7, Emeric Hache1,4, Corinne Jambert1, Elodie Jaumouillé2,4, Yves Meyerfeld1, Laurent Roblou1, and Flore Tocquer1 François Gheusi et al.
  • 1Laboratoire d'Aérologie, University of Toulouse, CNRS, UPS, Toulouse, France
  • 2Centre National d'Études Spatiales, Toulouse, France
  • 3Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, IPSL-LSCE, CEA/CNRS/UVSQ, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 4CNRM-GAME, Météo-France/CNRS UMR 3589, Toulouse, France
  • 5ALTEN, Toulouse, France
  • 6Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, University Pierre et Marie Curie/Ecole Poytechnique/ Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris/CNRS, Paris, France
  • 7Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, University of Toulouse/CNRS, Toulouse, France

Abstract. Since the 1970s, the French space agency CNES has developed boundary-layer pressurised balloons (BLPBs) with the capability to transport lightweight scientific payloads at isopycnic level and offer a quasi-Lagrangian sampling of the lower atmosphere over very long distances and durations (up to several weeks).

Electrochemical concentration cell (ECC) ozonesondes are widely used under small sounding balloons. However, their autonomy is limited to a few hours owing to power consumption and electrolyte evaporation. An adaptation of the ECC sonde has been developed specifically for long-duration BLPB flights.

Compared to conventional ECC sondes, the main feature is the possibility of programming periodic measurement sequences (with possible remote control during the flight). To increase the ozonesonde autonomy, the strategy has been adopted of short measurement sequences (2–3min) regularly spaced in time (e.g. every 15min). The rest of the time, the sonde pump is turned off.

Results of preliminary ground-based tests are first presented. In particular, the sonde was able to provide correct ozone concentrations against a reference UV-absorption ozone analyser every 15min for 4 days.

Then we illustrate results from 16 BLBP flights launched over the western Mediterranean during three summer field campaigns of the ChArMEx project (http://charmex.lsce.ipsl.fr): TRAQA in 2012, and ADRIMED and SAFMED in 2013. BLPB drifting altitudes were in the range 0.25–3.2km. The longest flight lasted more than 32h and covered more than 1000km. Satisfactory data were obtained when compared to independent ozone measurements close in space and time. The quasi-Lagrangian measurements allowed a first look at ozone diurnal evolution in the marine boundary layer as well as in the lower free troposphere. During some flight segments, there was indication of photochemical ozone production in the marine boundary layer or even in the free troposphere, at rates ranging from 1 to 2ppbvh−1, which is slower than previously found in the boundary layer over land in the same region.

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Boundary-layer pressurised balloons allow for horizontal multi-day flights in the lower atmosphere, carrying light scientific payloads. Ozonesondes, usually used for balloon soundings have too short a lifetime for such flights. An adaptation is proposed, whereby conventional sondes are operated with short measurement phases alternating with longer periods of dormancy. The sondes were operated over the western Mediterranean, offering an original perspective on tropospheric ozone.
Boundary-layer pressurised balloons allow for horizontal multi-day flights in the lower...
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