flask: Flask Samplers for Carbon Cycle Gases and Isotopes

The carbon flask collection system (FLASK) samples atmospheric carbon dioxide and other trace gases. It comprises a suitcase-mounted array of flasks, or Programmable Flask Package (PFP), and a compressor and power module, or Programmable Compressor Package (PCP), to do programmable time-interval or event-based sampling. The FLASK system is mounted on a Cessna 206 aircraft to take samples at 12 heights or positions.

A pilot display indicates sampling altitudes. At a given height, the pilot activates the sampler and atmospheric air fills the corresponding flask. Sampled PFPs are analyzed in the lab to determine gas concentrations and isotope ratios.



  • Fixed
  • AMF1
  • AMF2
  • AMF3

Related Publications


Feldman D, W Collins, S Biraud, M Risser, D Turner, P Gero, J Tadić, D Helmig, S Xie, E Mlawer, T Shippert, and M Torn. 2018. "Observationally derived rise in methane surface forcing mediated by water vapour trends." Nature Geoscience, 11, 10.1038/s41561-018-0085-9.


Biraud S. 2016. Flask Samplers for Carbon Cycle Gases and Isotopes (FLASK) Handbook . Ed. by Robert Stafford, ARM Climate Research Facility. DOE/SC-ARM-TR-181.

Hu L, SA Montzka, BR Miller, AE Andrews, JB Miller, SJ Lehman, C Sweeney, SM Miller, K Thoning, C Siso, EL Atlas, DR Blake, J de Gouw, JB Gilman, G Dutton, JW Elkins, B Hall, H Chen, ML Fischer, ME Mountain, T Nehrkorn, SC Biraud, FL Moore, and P Tans. 2016. "Continued emissions of carbon tetrachloride from the United States nearly two decades after its phaseout for dispersive uses." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(11), 10.1073/pnas.1522284113.


Sweeney C, A Karion, S Wolter, T Newberger, D Guenther, JA Higgs, AE Andrews, PM Lang, D Neff, E Dlugokencky, JB Miller, SA Montzka, BR Miller, KA Masarie, SC Biraud, PC Novelli, M Crotwell, AM Crotwell, K Thoning, and PP Tans. 2015. "Seasonal climatology of CO2 across North America from aircraft measurements in the NOAA/ESRL Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 120(10), 10.1002/2014jd022591.

Hu L, S Montzka, J Miller, A Andrews, S Lehman, B Miller, K Thoning, C Sweeney, H Chen, D Godwin, K Masarie, L Bruhwiler, M Fischer, S Biraud, M Torn, M Mountain, T Nehrkorn, J Eluszkiewicz, S Miller, R Draxler, A Stein, B Hall, J Elkins, and P Tans. 2015. "U.S. emissions of HFC-134a derived for 2008-2012 from an extensive flask-air sampling network." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 120(2), 10.1002/2014JD022617.


Schmid B, JM Tomlinson, JM Hubbe, JM Comstock, F Mei, D Chand, MS Pekour, CD Kluzek, E Andrews, SC Biraud, and GM McFarquhar. 2014. "The DOE ARM Aerial Facility." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 95(5), 10.1175/bams-d-13-00040.1.


Inoue M, I Morino, O Uchino, Y Miyamoto, Y Yoshida, T Yokota, T Machida, Y Sawa, H Matsueda, C Sweeney, P Tans, A Andrews, S Biraud, T Tanaka, S Kawakami, and P Patra. 2013. "Validation of XCO2 derived from SWIR spectra of GOSAT TANSO-FTS with aircraft measurement data." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 13(19), 10.5194/acp-13-9771-2013.

Kulawik SS, JR Worden, SC Wofsy, SC Biraud, R Nassar, DB Jones, ET Olsen, R Jimenez, S Park, GW Santoni, BC Daube, JV Pittman, BB Stephens, EA Kort, and GB Osterman. 2013. "Comparison of improved Aura Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer CO2 with HIPPO and SGP aircraft profile measurements." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 13(6), 10.5194/acp-13-3205-2013.

Biraud SC, MS Torn, JR Smith, C Sweeney, WJ Riley, and PP Tans. 2013. "A multi-year record of airborne CO2 observations in the U.S. Southern Great Plains." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 6(3), 10.5194/amt-6-751-2013.


Torn MS, SC Biraud, CJ Still, WJ Riley, and JA Berry. 2011. "Seasonal and inter-annual variability in δ13C of net ecosystem carbon exchanges from 2002-2009 in the U.S. Southern Great Plains." Tellus B, 63(2), 10.1111/j.1600-0889.2010.00519.x.
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