Stratospheric Balloon Flight of Cost-Effective Sampling Bags and High Resolution AirCore to Measure Arctic Greenhouse Gas Concentrations of CO2 and CH4

There is little information on the distribution of trace gases in the stratosphere due to the inherent difficulty and high cost of air sampling above aircraft altitudes. This paper presents project TUBULAR, implemented under the REXUS/BEXUS programme. TUBULAR is a student-led stratospheric balloon experiment for low-cost air sampling that reduces the current complexities and limitations of obtaining data on stratospheric trace gas distributions. This technology demonstrator was launched from Esrange, in the Swedish Lapland. The balloon payload included two atmospheric samplers: an AirCore sampler and a bag sampling system. The AirCore sampler was a 200 m long stainless steel tube,which allowed continuous profile sampling during balloon descent. The bag sampling system consisted of six bags, each programmed to be filled at a pre-selected altitude in the stratosphere using a pumping system. This paper presents details on the payload construction and first results obtained by the AirCore sampler.