The acronym CARIBIC stands for "Civil Aircraft for Remote Sensing and In-situ-Measurements in Troposphere and Lower Stratosphere Based on the Instrumentation Container Concept". The philosophy behind this project (presently supported by the European Union) is the deployment of automated air monitoring equipment in passenger aircraft using a freight container (200 cft) with a payload capacity of about one ton. This approach offers ample space for bulky instruments and flexibility to obtain a large amount of data using scheduled flights. The aircraft is a Boeing 767, owned and operated by the German International Airways LTU. Space for the container is in the forward cargo bay. The specially designed heated inlet system is mounted directly below the container outside of the fuselage, and consists of an inlet for aerosol measurements of sub-micrometer particles. This allows to obtain for the first time large datasets for aerosols. The vertical wingprofile of the inlet support has a separate inlet for trace gases. All instruments, control unit and power supply are mounted in aviation approved racks which slide into a reinforced standard aircraft luggage ( freight container. Power is supplied via a central AC-DC converter delivering 28 V DC. All equipment is controlled via a central computer which also logs the relevant flight data. The current instrument package consists of both a fast-response chemiluminescence ozone sensor and a conventional ozone monitor, a gas chromatograph for CO analysis, a condensation nuclei counter for sub-micron particles larger than 15 nm, and a 12 vessel large-capacity whole air sampler (200 psi) which can take air samples for conventional trace-gas analysis as well as isotopic analysis for CO2, CO, CH4, and N2O. The container should give the flexibility and capacity for changing the equipment composition to address specific research tasks. In preparation are an NOx analyser, a 3 channel particle counter (5-200 nm) as well as an aerosol collection system. Details of the CARIBIC container and the analytical instruments will be discussed.
Oral presentation at the IGAC-SPARC-GAW Conference on Global Measurement Systems for Atmospheric Composition, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA, May 20-22, 1997