Free Radicals in the Stratosphere: A New Observational Technique

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  14 Jun 1985:
Vol. 228, Issue 4705, pp. 1309-1311
DOI: 10.1126/science.228.4705.1309


A new approach to in situ observations of trace reactive species in the stratosphere is described. A balloon-borne system, floating 40 kilometers above the earth's surface, successfully lowered and then retracted a cluster of instruments a distance of 12 kilometers on a filament of Kevlar. This instrument cluster is capable of detecting gas-phase free radicals at the part-per-trillion level. The suspended instrument array has excellent stability and has been used to measure atomic oxygen concentrations in the stratosphere.