ZEBIS - air sampler for isotopes aboard the Zeppelin NT

Deployment of the whole air sampler

The here developed whole air sampler ZEBIS was deployed with great success for the first time in the frame of the large international field experiment COPS/TRACKS in July 2007. COPS (Convective and Orographically-induced Precipitation Study) aims in the investigation of processes relevant for precipitation above low mountain range regions to improve the prognostic quality of orographically-induced precipitation. This will be done by measurements and modelling of the involved processes. TRACKS (Transport und chemische Umwandlung in konvektiven Systemen) investigates the relevance of convection for trace gas transport and aims to achieve a data base to optimise models of convective transport of trace gases.

Based upon the characteristics of the Zeppelin NT the following flight strategies are planned/performed:

  1. Measurements of local restricted phenomena with high spatial resolution,
  2. fast measurements of vertical profiles,
  3. measurements along Lagrange trajectories,
  4. longterm measurements.

Trace gas profiles are recorded at different places and at different times in southwest Germany to detect the evolution of the PBL as well as the relevant CO2 and H2 fluxes. How effective, given the burden situation in middle-european megalopolis, a recovery can be achieved by convection is studied in a Lagrange-Experiment. Hereby, the impact of convective motions on the plume of the industrial area Mannheim-Ludwigshafen or Karlsruhe is investigated. In reconcilement with COPS entrainment processes and vertical transports in convective clouds are measured.

For the first time the ICG-2 of the research centre Jülich measures the budget of tropospheric radicals (OH, HO2, RO2) within the the frame of TRACKS. The measurements yield in knowledge above the atmospheric oxidation capacity and its limitations, radical cycles, dependence on UV, NOx, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), radical sources (e.g. HONO) and sinks. Furthermore, the tropospheric ozone production rate as well as the NO/NO2 ratio will be examined. Special interest lies in the heterogeneous chemical processes and in the formation and aging of aerosols.

With ZEBIS our working group applies to the measurement of the catenation of the chemical decomposition and products of VOCs (i.e. oxidized VOCs, particles, CO2) by the determination of isotope ratios in these chemical compounds.