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A miniature oscillating microbalance for sampling ice and volcanic ash from a small airborne platform

Airey, M., Harrison, G., Nicoll, K., Williams, P. and Marlton, G. (2017) A miniature oscillating microbalance for sampling ice and volcanic ash from a small airborne platform. Review of Scientific Instruments, 88 (8). 086108. ISSN 0034-6748

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1063/1.4998971

Abstract/Summary

A lightweight and low power oscillating microbalance for in situ sampling of atmospheric ice and volcanic ash is described, for airborne platforms. Using a freely-exposed collecting wire fixed at only one end to a piezo transducer, the instrument collects airborne material. Accumulated mass is determined from change in natural frequency of the wire. The piezo transducer is used in a dual mode to both drive and detect the oscillation. Three independent frequency measurement techniques are implemented with an on-board microcontroller: a frequency sweep, a Fourier spectral method, and a phase-locked loop. These showed agreement to ±0.3 Hz for a 0.5 mm diameter collecting wire 120 mm long, flown to 19 km altitude on a weather balloon. The instrument is well suited to disposable use with meteorological radiosondes, to provide high resolution vertical profiles of mass concentration.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:71788
Publisher:AIP

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