European Facility For Airborne Research

European Facility For Airborne Research March 4, 2024, 20:28

Instrument: Aerodyne CH4 & N2O CW-Quantum Cascade LAS

Name Aerodyne CH4 & N2O CW-Quantum Cascade LAS
Acronym Aerodyne-CW-QCLAS
Manufacturer Aerodyne Research Inc.
Manufacturer website
Operated by UNIMAN
Operated onboard

Instrument type

Name Trace Gas Analyzer
Acronym Trace Gas Analyzer

Principle of operation

Measured parameter Trace Gas concentrations
Operating principle

Measurement(s) Gas Phase

Dimension and weight

External dimension Dimensions Centre of Mass w.r.t. OB Component X (mm) Y (mm) Z (mm) Mass (kg) Xcm (mm) Ycm (mm) Zcm (mm) Items Follow QCL Main Unit 483 645 267 28.5 241.5 322.5 133.5 QCL Laser Current Controller 87 340 216 5.0 43.5 170 108 QCL Chiller Unit 279 197 330 10.8 139.5 98.5 165 QCL Pump 140 358 181 9.5 70 179 90.5 QCL Power Distribution Box 119 188 56 0.6 59.5 94 2
Weight 23.0


Operating mode In situ






None - custom supplied for aircraft operation

Operational restriction

Yes -ethernet

Operational requirements

Weight: 28.5 kg Power: 200 W @ 110/240 50-60Hz Laser: 1 CW
QCL (1271cm-1) 100 mW (fully enclosed during operation
Class 1) Dimensions: 482.6 mm (W standard 19inch rack
mountable) x 645 mm (D) x 266.7 mm (H)

ILX LightWave LDX-3220 Laser Current Controller
Weight: 5.5 kg Power: 100-230 VAC 50-60 Hz, 600mA.
Dimensions: 87 mm (H) x 216 mm (W) x 340mm (D)
This unit is used to control the current and power settings of the
laser internal to the QCL unit. It is operated by a keyed switch on
the front panel and connected to the QCL unit by a 9 pin ‘D’
connector. This is a commercial unit and is used unmodified.
Figure QCL-4 shows the front and rear panels of this unit.

CustomChill CRAL300-230 Chiller
Weight: 10 kg Power: 230 VAC 50-60 Hz, 3.5 A. Dimensions:
330 mm (H) x 197 mm (W) x 279 mm (D)
The Chiller is a thermoelectric chiller which provides a
recirculating flow of coolant at 20C to remove excess heat from
the thermoelectric cooler attached to the laser inside the QCL
unit. A PID controller and temperature readout is integrated into
the chiller giving a constant fluid output temperature under
varying thermal load and ambient temperature. Under conditions
of ambient temperature being below the output setpoint, the
unit is able to heat the fluid. This cooling is required to allow the
laser to operate at a stable temperature. This is critical for the
correct operation of the instrument. Failure of the coolant
system will result in unstable temperature and possible damage
to the laser diode but will not compromise the safety of the
aircraft. The unit contains approx 750ml of distilled water as the
coolant and is connected to the QCL unit by two 1⁄4” PTFE lines
(output and return) terminated with Swagelok fittings. The
output line is insulated with a foam rubber sleeve. Figure QCL-5
shows the chiller unit without the connecting lines attached.
Varian IDP3 Vacuum Pump
Weight: 9.5 kg Power: 230 VAC 50-60 Hz, 120 W. Dimensions:
181 mm (H) x 140 mm (W) x 358 mm (D)
The IDP-3 pump is used to provide the sample flow required for
the operation of the QCL, and also to maintain the pressure in
the measurement cell in the required range of 30-60 Torr. At
the required operating pressure the IDP-3 pump will deliver a
sample flow rate of approximately 55 lpm giving the instrument
a response time of approximately 0.5s. The IDP-3 pump uses
single stage scroll pumping technology, which is oil free and
relatively quiet. The pump is connected to the QCL using 1⁄2”
PTFE tubing terminated with 1⁄2” Swagelok connectors at the
QCL end and NW16 connectors at the pump end. Exhaust from
the pump is connected to the aircraft exhaust line also using 1⁄2”

QCL Power Distribution Box
Weight: 0.6 kg Dimensions: 56 mm (H) x 119 mm (W) x 188 mm
The power distribution box takes power from an aircraft SSP
using a standard umbilical cable and distributes it to the other
QCL components on the rack. This is separate from the power
distribution box for the CIMS. Breakers are provided for the
main incoming power (230V supply only as others are not used)
and for each outgoing power line (QCL main unit, laser current
controller, chiller and pump). Outgoing connectors are 62GB-
12E12-03SN (amphenol), incoming and outgoing lines are
protected by thermal overcurrent breakers rated at 12A and 5A
respectively (RS Stock no 286-0797 and 286-4086) and the box
itself is a die cast aluminium box (RS Stock no 364-2281).

Certification approvals

Approval is currently for BAe 146 but can be installed on 182
within current pannier limitations - pre install time 1 month

Additional information

requires experience operator.

Access, host and processing



Could also fit on any aircraft having the following characteristics

General description

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