Picarro Blog

Mid IR and the Transparency Spectrum

With the release of our newest instrument, the G5101-i for N2O concentration and isotope analysis, Picarro is ready to give scientists (not to mention policy makers and concerned citizens) more insight into the global nitrogen cycle and its interdependence with agriculture, climate, and the Earth’s natural ecosystems. Now our customers can easily and precisely measure the four most critical greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), water vapor (H2O), and nitrous oxide (N2O).

The G5101-i is the first Picarro to operate in the mid IR, giving us a portal to a whole new realm of possible applications. As sophisticated and successful as cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS) technology is, it’s only in its nascent stages when one considers the opportunities for new scientific research and how it’s going to scale.

What blows me away about CRDS are the seemingly infinite possibilities! Our team had a lot of fun compiling “The 10 Weirdest Samples Ever Run Through Our Analyzers” for this newsletter. From bat’s breath to cheese to the carbon sinks of Siberia and emissions from the world’s mega cities, CRDS delivers precise and actionable data on applications unimaginable a few years ago. The variety of unusual samples shared in that story merely evokes the imagination for other applications. I wonder about the thousands of other applications being run on our instruments around the world. What about the next 10,000 that scientists haven’t even begun to imagine yet?

What also evokes the imagination most at Picarro, however, is a future of environmental transparency.  Transparency is liberating. It’s also inescapable!  With Picarro hardware and cloud processing solutions, people will actually see emissions that surround them in real-time. Hide and seek is the historical game between regulators and the regulated. Show and tell is the game of the future.

Compare this new environmental transparency to the rise of social media. Whereby many businesses and governments cringed when social media took off and they watched as opinions of their products and policies spread uncontrollably online; others saw huge benefits from transparency, leveraged it and gained competitive advantage. Transparency is smart business.

On that note, may I extend an open invitation to all of our customers, other scientists, and the media to visit us anytime. Come in, talk about your weird applications, and see for yourself how Picarro instruments are made.