AIP Digital Archive
Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
A balloon-borne mass spectrometer system has been flown successfully to determine the chemical composition of polar stratospheric aerosols over northern Scandinavia. The experiment combines an aerodynamic lens which collimates the aerosols into a narrow beam, a small sphere in which they evaporate, and a mass spectrometer for gas analysis. High-speed differential pumping by two liquid helium pumps effectively lowers the presence of ambient gases without affecting the particles of the beam. Field measurements and aerosol studies inside a large cryo-chamber have shown that the concept of particle focusing, evaporation and subsequent mass spectrometric gas analysis is a reliable technique to determine the molecular composition of aerosols especially in polar stratospheric clouds. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.
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