These instruments ‘aim is to measure trace gases or to study aerosols. They are thus used on the ground, under weather balloons or stratospheric balloons (more than 10 000 m3 to few 100 000m3) or on planes. The instrumental principles are based on optical properties of gases: visible, UV or infrared spectroscopy, or light scattering properties (aerosols), or the physical and chemical properties of matter: mass spectroscopy, etc. The design and implementation of these instruments cover a wide range of competences. Thus, they involve a multitude of professions such as the following ones:

– Optics : spectrometry in visible, near infrared, medium infrared light

– Mass spectrometry

– Vacuum technology, cryogenics

– Gas physics

– Automation : process control, control feedback

– Electronics : analog low noise (from DC to 100Mz), power circuit (to 100W), numeric (FPGA, softcore microprocessor).

– Software : data processing software, HMI software.

– Heat science of simple systems


Currently instruments under development or in use are:

– LOAC (measurement of aerosols)

– Micro-hygrometer (measurement of water in stratosphere)

– Mini electrochemical sensors (measurement of gas)

– ORBAS (Mass spectrometry)

– PROGRA2 (aerosols ‘characterization)

– SAMU (measurement of radicals OH, OX2 and H2SO4)

– SPECIES (measurement of trace gases)

– SPIRIT (measurement of trace gases)

For more information see specific pages for each instrument.