Aaron Van Pelt's blog

Aaron Van Pelt's blog

Fun things to hear from the field: the Greenland field season is underway!

Palette after combat offload at NEEM

I just got an email from our customer Hans Christian Steen-Larsen who is at NEEM:

"Greetings from NEEM where I'm setting up my vapor system once again. This time I have the Picarro from France - the serial number is HBDS012. The good things was that the analyzer started up right away after having been combat off-loaded on the put in flight (open snow landing)."

"Picarro’s Believe It or NOT!" The Top Ten Weirdest Samples Ever Run Through Our Analyzers

Jack Palance "Believe it... or NOT!"

Our customers often measure some unusual things with our instruments. Liquids, gases and solids of all types, from deep sea vent water to bat breath to moth wings. We've collected a list of the weirdest… and we’ve added a few of our own as well as a few that we just made up. See if you can spot the fake analyses!

Picarro Surveyor™ for Natural Gas: Rapid, Accurate Leak Detection for Improved Safety; PG&E - First Utility to Deploy Technology

Nick Stavropoulos

In January, Picarro introduced a first-of-its-kind solution for natural gas pipeline leak detection and measurement, based on our new series of methane isotope analyzers. The new solution, called the Picarro Surveyor™ for Natural Gas Leaks, measures methane plumes in the air, maps them, and then immediately alerts users and repair teams upon leak detection in real-time while traveling at normal driving speeds.

Quarterly Featured Picarro Coolest Remote Sites

Coast Guard icebreaker Healy

It's commonly said here at Picarro that our customers have more interesting lives than we do -- we're always receiving fantastic photos of someone with one of our instruments in some remote and often idyllic field location. We thought it would be fun to periodically share some of the amazing locations where our customers are doing field work. Here are the five that we've come up with this quarter including links to their research sites and a few selected photos (mouse over photos for captions): 

Picarro Technology Innovation Update: How Fundamental Improvements to the CRDS Cavity Vastly Enhances Performance


In my role as an Applications Scientist here at Picarro, I’m always getting questions from customers like, “So what’s new?” and “What new technology breakthroughs are you guys working on?” To better address these questions, I spoke with Picarro Senior System Engineer Dr. Yonggang He about the recent technology innovations that have enabled us to boost the performance of our isotopic carbon analyzers. Here’s a bit of our discussion:

A deeper look into Picarro's technology -- and California cuisine!

Benoit rings the bell -- 3 new orders from LSCE!

Editor’s note: This post comes to us from Benoit Wastine from the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE/IPSL) CEA-CNRS-UVSQ in France.  http://www.lsce.ipsl.fr/en/

Notes from the field: Picarro visit to the North Greenland Eemian Ice Core Drilling camp (NEEM)

LC-130 at NEEM

As I write this, I’m sitting on a ski-equipped LC-130 Hercules cargo plane from the New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing, flying over Greenland, having just taken off from the NEEM camp at 77°N latitude where the sun is up 24 hours a day.

European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2011 -- impressions

Picarro booth at EGU 2011 in Vienna

Several of us from Picarro spent a week in Vienna talking to scientists from all around the world. For those of us "manning the booth," conferences like EGU and AGU are both exciting and exhausting -- getting the instruments shipped, setting up the demonstrations, daily on our feet, engaged in conversations. You can see in the thumbnail picture here that it was busy -- it was like that all day, every day of the meeting.

Business cards and instruments

Names and information blurred to protect the innocent

Recognize this? You could take a picture like this in almost any lab around the world. Carefully taped on the front of a tremendously expensive, state of the art piece of equipment, a little rectangle of paper with the name and number of the person to call when the darn thing breaks. You can find these cards everywhere -  in research institution, industrial plants, academic labs. Sometimes the card is yellowed with age, or covered with amendments, additional numbers, and notes on how to make the darn thing work.

Being a productive member of the measurement community

We're in an interesting spot, providing instruments to such a wide variety of folks – we have thought leaders in the greenhouse gas and isotope world who have years of experience using and development their own instruments and measurement methods. On the other end, we have entering undergraduate students who find themselves in front of one of our analyzers – and being able to produce data with it with virtually no training, since the instruments are easy to use and reasonably inexpensive relative to earlier technology… and that’s a good thing, though there are caveats.