Old Meets New: Comparison of Aerosol Observing Systems Underway

Published: 27 February 2012

In just a few days, AOS scientists from Brookhaven, AMF2 operations personnel, and SGP site technicians unpacked and installed the AMF2 AOS (foreground). On February 14, it began collecting data next to the SGP system (background). Not your typical Valentine’s Day treat, but still pretty sweet.
With funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory built a handful of new Aerosol Observing Systems for the ARM Facility in the past two years. One of these new systems, assigned to the second ARM Mobile Facility (AMF2), is temporarily located at the ARM Southern Great Plains site in Oklahoma, where it is operating near ARM’s original AOS for the next nine months. Data obtained from the side-side-by side systems will be used to compare and validate measurements between the new and original AOS instruments. In addition, the AOS scientists will use this opportunity to train AMF2 operations personnel on the new instrumentation.

The AOS at the SGP site began operating in 1996, but it gathers nearly identical measurements to the new system for the AMF2. The AMF2 AOS is considered the ‘transfer standard’ for instrumentation in the other new AOS systems – including the system bound for fixed operation at the ARM site in Darwin, Australia, and the Mobile AOS, which also includes a complete suite of chemistry instruments.

An initial intercomparison between the AMF2 AOS and the Mobile AOS took place in the summer of 2011 at Brookhaven to obtain a comprehensive data set representative of the entire ‘next generation’ of AOS systems. A direct comparison of data sets collected from the current and previous generation instruments at the SGP site will add even more reliability for investigators using data from the various AOS platforms.