asalkever's blog

asalkever's blog

Wing Pods, UAVs and NASA = Very Cool, Very Innovative Science

Picarro flux analyzer in tne nose cone of a UAV at NASA Ames for Railroad Playa GHG Calibration Project

I've got two simple yet evocative phrases  for you. Wing pods. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Excited? We are. During late June, a team of top scientists from the NASA Ames Research Center deployed three Picarro analyzers as part of the The Railroad Valley Vicarious Calibration Campaign, a collaboration between the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif. One of the analyzers was deployed in a wing pod of an Alpha jet which flew up to altitudes of 25,000 feet. Another was deployed in the nose cone of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.

Picarro Aboard the Hesperides: Measuring Isotopic Carbon on a Historic Spanish Circumnavigation


The Malaspina Expedition may set the record for the most well-travelled Picarro analyzer. And we can't wait to see the science that emerges from this fascinating voyage. Here's the story. The research voyage marks the 200 Year Anniversary of the death of Alessandro Malaspina in 1810. Malaspina directed the first Spanish scientific expedition to circumnavigate the Earth.

Grass-Fed, Corn-Fed and Where Do They Come From? Cows and Picarro

We have over time gotten a fair number of queries related to whether our CRDS analyzers can be used to determine whether an animal is corn-fed or grass-fed, and where that animal comes from. Consumers, restaurateurs, and food companies increasingly care a lot about what goes into the mouths of the meat they sell and whether that meat is local or from Brazil or Texas or wherever. Which is why we welcome the opportunity to discuss how stable isotopes can both determine if a cow has been grass-fed or corn-fed and, further, where that meat comes from.

Saskatchewan Carbon Capture Project: How to Verify What Goes Underground Stays Underground?

Carbon Capture Infographic

We blogged previously about carbon sequestration and its a topic we watch closely. You may have read that earlier this week Saskatchewan approved plans for a commercial-scale carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) project.

Apes in South East Asia: Stable Isotopes, Teeth, and Roaming About

Yet another article in PLoS One that uses stable isotopes to glean critical insights from fossils of long-dead animals. A mixed team including researchers from France, Thailand, Germany and Myanmar examined stable isotopes in the teeth of fossils of an extinct genus of horse called Hipparion found near the remains of a type of ape (a hominoid) to determine the nature of the environment when the creatures were alive.

We've Moved - Literally! Growing Out of Our Old Home and Into Our New One

First Picarro analyzer shipped from Patrick Henry Drive facility / Ed Wahl

The image you see here is Ed Wahl, the guy who runs all our QA and testing on analyzers posing as a proud papa with the first Picarro analyzer that we manufactured and shipped out of our brand new state-of-the-art facility. This one is going to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a new customer we are very excited about. They set all sorts of standards for how things are measured in the U.S. and what's considered acceptable in the world of measurement. As many of you know, we're growing very quickly.

A Culinary History of Zebras, Rhinos and Hippos: Carbon Tracers for African Grazers

Elephant grazing: Credit - Kevin Uno, University of Utah

Sometime in the distant past, grazing animals on the African Savannah switched their diets from trees and shrubs to grasses. And carbon isotopes tell the tale.

Picarro at EGU 2011 in Vienna: Three New Products, Three Recent Products, Lots of Great Customer Interaction

There are two big conferences that we pull out the stops on - the American Geophysical Union annual meeting in San Francisco and the European Geoscience Union annual meeting in Vienna. This is EGU 2011 and we are on the floor (in Booth 49). Like other companies, we like to launch new products around these shows because its the best time to get guaranteed facetime with potential customers who are usually scattered around the globe.

IM-CRDS: Finally, A Better Way to Extract and Analyze Water Isotopes from Plant Leafs, Soils, Tissues - Precise Data in <5 Mins

Video of Induction Module - CRDS System

At Picarro, we not only like to make great instruments but we also like to deliver real-world solutions to difficult problems facing scientists. Extracting water samples for isotopic analysis from plant leafs, stems, soils, small organisms and other small samples has been a difficult problem. Legacy technology required massive cryogenic distillation systems that occupy an entire lab bench, require a highly-skilled technician to process a sample, and also required a large sample volume to distill down. Oh, and the process took 90 minutes or more.

Congratulations to Earth Networks for its Green:Net Award!

We were excited to see that Picarro customer Earth Networks has won an award as one of the 10 Big Idea winners for the Earth2Tech/Gigaom Green:Net conference this April. The award went to Earth Networks in a large part because of their ambitious plan to build the world's largest and first privately funded greenhouse gas measurement network.