AIRBOX Instruments

1. CIMS: Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometer

Ions in aerosol phase such as sulfuric acid derivatives, ammonia, and organic ions and aerosol precursor gases, thereby capturing the gas to particle formation process, and the nucleation cluster composition.

High-Resolution API ToFMS from AERODYNE Research Inc (manufacturer product sheets)

  • HTOF Time-of-flight Mass Spectrometer
    • Massrange: 0-1000 Th
    • Massresolution > 350
    • Bipolar power supply, pulser circuitry, and cabling
  • Atmospheric pressure interface (API)
    • 0-3mbar RF-only quadrupole (q1)
    • Medium pressure RF-only quadrupole (q2)
    • Ion focusing optics (PB)
    • Atmospheric pressure sampling inlet for measurement of ambient ions
  • Vacuum System
    • Scroll Pump (for q1)
    • Split-flow turbo pump, controller and fore pump (for q2, PB, and TOF)
    • Pressure gauges and controller with vacuum interlock protection
  • Data Acquisition System
    • PC (WindowsOS)
    • TOF timing and trigger electronics
    • Pre-amplifier
    • High speed, analog-to-digital converter (ADC)
    • Data acquisition and instrument control software
  • Thuner TOF Auto-tuning Software
  • Instrument Rack and Reusable Shipping Crate
  • Igor-based Data Analysis Software

Flow-tube, Chemical Ionization Source (Optional)

  • Heated, tunable pressure ion molecule reaction (IMR) chamber, 0-500 mbar for use with varied reagent ions, including acetate, iodide, and water clusters.
  • Easy connection to API-ToFMS (Item 1); interchangeable with Aerodyne nitrate CI source.
  • Ambient pressure sampling inlet (2 slpm).
  • Vacuum system, including (1) Scroll pump
  • Two Po-210 reagent ion ports (Polonium source)

Aerosol Sampling Inlet (FIGAERO) (Optional, Requires Item 2)

  • Aerosol sampling interface for chemical ionization MS analysis of organic aerosols. Mounts to face of flow-tube CI source (Item 2), replacing gas-phase inlet.
  • Simultaneous, real-time analysis of gas and aerosol species.
  • EyeOnTM control modules (2U, 19” inch, USB) and software package for control of FIGAERO hardware and synchronization of analysis with with ToFMS data acquisition.

Contact: Branka Miljevic, Zoran Ristovski, Peter Nelson

2. Spectronus: Ecotech-UoW FTIR in-situ trace gas analyser

The Spectronus analyser combines a Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometer, multi-pass gas sample cell and a high performance detector to simultaneously detect greenhouse gases and their isotopes at high frequency (instrument manual). In-situ continuous and simultaneous measurement of CO2, CH4, CO, N2O, δ13C in CO2, δD-H2O, δ18O in H2O is made.

Contact: David Griffith, Clare Murphy

3. MAXDOAS with direct sun: Two high grade Avantes UV/Vis Spectrometer

Multi Axis (MAX) – Differential Optical Absorption Spectrometer (DOAS) System for measurements of atmospheric trace-gases (EnviMes’ instrument manual and Rob Ryan’s University of Melbourne supplementary manual).

Solar Spectra observations in UV/Vis (daytime only) providing simultaneous observation of many oxidants and oxidation products: BrO, IO, NO2, O3, HCHO, CHOCHO, OClO, SO2, H2O, O4, aerosol.

Spectrometers: Two ultra-low straylight 75mm Avantes spectrometers (UV: 300 – 450nm, 1800 l/mm grating and Visible: 450 – 580nm, 1800 l/mm grating). Both are high Grade backthinned Hamamatsu detectors with 2048 Pixel (14μm) and 895μm sensor height, high UV sensitivity with quantum efficiency of ~ 60%, high light through put due to high sensor height with spectral resolutions <0.7 nm.

Optics: MAX-DOAS Telescope (2D vertical and horizontal scanner) with stepper motor, tilt sensor and sealed quartz glass cover. With automatic diffuser plate for direct sun measurements. Connected to the spectrometers with a 10m fibre.

Calibration: Hand held mercury calibration lamp.

Contact: Robyn Schofield, Steve Wilson

4. Thomson WS800 – Meteorological package

From Thomson Environmental Systems the LUFFT WS800 UMB Compact Weather Station Sensor provides ultrasonic winds and other meteorological data as an ASCII output data stream:

  • Temperature
  • Relative Humidity
  • Pressure
  • Solar Radiation (Lufft 1st Class Pyranometer)
  • Wind Speed and Wind Direction
  • Precipitation
  • Lightning Counter
  • Electronic Compass
  • 20m cable

Contact: Robyn Schofield

5. Mini Micro Pulse Lidar System

The MiniMPL operates at a wavelength of 532 nm, 3-4uJ@2500 Hz PRF, 80mm beam diameter laser beam, in a weather proof housing from Sigma Space with a scanning unit enabling 3D imaging of the sky.

Continuous aerosol and cloud profiles up to approximately 10km. Boundary layer height defined continuously.

Scanner for MiniMPL Model MiniMPL-SCAN 


  • Mounted on NEMA-4 all weather enclosure designed for 24/7 outdoor use
  • Operating temperature range: -20°C to 40°C
  • Operating humidity range: 0 to 100%
  • Dimensions: 35cm x 52cm x 20cm
  • Azimuth range: -200° to +200°
  • Elevation Range: -10° to +90°
  • Dection Range: up to 15km
  • Repeatability: 0.1°
  • Scan speed: 5° per second
  • Power consumption: 30 Watts @110-240 VAC
  • Software control: USB through Sensor Suite Control Box. Software integrated with MiniMPL systems
  • Optical grade window specs: 10 cm diameter and anti-reflective coating for 532 nm and 1047 nm laser

Useful instrument documents:

Contact: Robyn Schofield, Simon Alexander

6. In-situ Radon detector

Radon-222 is emitted from all land surfaces at a constant rate (for Australian emission flux map see: Griffiths et al., 2010). With a radioactive half-life of only 3.8 days radon-222 is reliable tracer of land contact. Using dual-flow-loop two-filter radon detection ANSTO‘s Radon detectors are recognised as being the best in the world by the World Meteorological Organisation.

The 1500L semi-portable detector  is used for continuous, hourly monitoring of ambient radon in air. The lower limit of detection of this instrument is 20-40 mBq m-3 (i.e., suitable for monitoring quite pristine air), and its power requirements are minimal (200W @ 240V). Sampled air is drawn through one filter, which removes all radon and thoron decay products, then through a delay (the tank) in which some radon decays. The air then passes through a second filter or screen, which collects decay products from radon in the tank. The screen is in close proximity to a zinc sulfide scintillator, connected via a light guide to a photomultiplier tube (PMT). Scintillation events due to alpha decay on the screen are detected by the PMT, processed electronically and recorded as a count rate by a data logger. Once deployed, the detector can operate for long periods with minimal maintenance.

Useful instrument documents:

Contact: Alastair Williams

7. Aurora 4000 Polar Nephelometer with PM2.5 Inlet and accessories

The Aurora 4000 nephelometer using LED technology measures 3 wavelengths (450nm, 525nm, 635nm) with a backscatter shutter which includes angle control between 10-170o. The in-situ scattering properties of aerosols are observed continuously.

Useful instrument documents:

Contact: Melita Keywood

8. Thermo Scientific Model 5012 MAAP Multi-Angle Absorption Photometer

The Multi Angle Absorption Photometer (MAAP) from Thermo-Fisher Scientific measures ambient and source black carbon (BC) concentrations and aerosol light absorption properties continuously.

Useful instrument documents:

Contact: Melita Keywood

9. The HIVOL 3000 particulate sampler

The Ecotech HIVOL 3000 particulate sampler performs remote unattended measurements of PM2.5, PM10 or TSP along with basic meteorological parameters. PM2.5, PM10 or TSP particles are collected on filters and subsequently analyzed using ICPMS for trace elements such as iron, silicate etc linking terrestrial dusts with oceanic fertilization processes along with a rain gauge for deposition rates (weekly resolution). Instrument manual.

Contact: Andy Bowie