An integrated flask sample collection system for greenhouse gas measurements
A one hour integrated flask sampling system to collect air in automated NOAA/ESRL 12-flask packages is described. The integrating compressor system uses a mass flow controller to regulate the flow of air through a 15 l volume, thus providing a mixture of air collected over an hour-long period. By beginning with a high flow rate of 3.8 standard liters per minute and gradually decreasing the flow rate over time to 0.29 standard liters per minute it is possible to obtain a nearly uniformly time averaged sample of air and collect it into a pressurized 0.7 l flask. The weighting function determining the air mixture obtained is described in detail. Laboratory and field tests demonstrate that the integrated sample approximates a simple mean of air collected during the one-hour sampling time.