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Contributions of a Tunable Diode Laser Instrument (ATLAS) to the Stratospheric Ozone Depletion QuestionThe Airborne Tunable Laser Absorption Spectrometer - ATLAS - was designed and built at the NASA Ames Research Center and operates on the NASA ER-2 high altitude research aircraft. ATLAS has taken part in a number of important polar and mid-latitude research campaigns, since 1987, focused on various aspects of stratospheric ozone chemistry and dynamics. The chief measurement carried out by the ATLAS second harmonic diode laser spectrometer is of the important atmospheric tracer N2O. Using N2O as an inert tracer we have been able to gain significant new information on polar vortex dynamics and on the correlations of several important long-lived tracers in the stratosphere. The correlation of N2O with NOy (total reactive nitrogen) has been shown to be linear for a great variety of unperturbed stratospheric conditions, and the breakdown of this correlation has been used to detect denitrification by PSCs in the polar vortex, especially in the Antarctic spring. Denitrification is an important step in the process of ozone hole formation in the austral spring. Correlations of N2O with CFCs and CH4 have led to improved estimates of atmospheric lifetimes of these important molecules. Finally the correlation of N2O with CO2, the latter now being measured with great precision by a new instrument on the ER-2, has led to a significant new tool for studying horizontal and vertical mixing in the lower stratosphere, a tool which is very useful in assessing the potential effects of high speed civil transport aircraft in the lower stratosphere. A new, light-weight version of ATLAS is currently being built for unmanned high altitude aircraft, specifically the new Perseus vehicle. We will give a brief description of this effort.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Loewenstein, Max
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Russell, Philip B.
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1994
Subject Category
Lasers And Masers
Meeting Information
4th International Symposium on Monitoring of Gaseous Pollutants by Tunable Diode Lasers(Freiburg)
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 464-14-11
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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