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.


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.

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.


Michelsen H, R Bambha, P Schrader, F Helsel, B LaFranchi, B Flowers, T Rahn, M Dubey, T Guilderson, M Ivey, and B Zak. 2011. Northern Oklahoma CO2 Attribution with Tracers Study (NOCATS) 2010: First Deployment of a New Mobile Laboratory for Atmospheric Carbon-cycle Science. Presented at 2nd Atmospheric System Research (ASR) Science Team Meeting. San Antonio, TX.

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.


Voyles JW. 2007. ACRF Instrumentation Status: New, Current, and Future September – October 2007. DOE ARM Climate Research Facility. DOE/SC-ARM/P-07-002.8.

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