Picarro Blog

Desai Ecometeorology Lab, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Ankur Desai - Associate Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

MADISON, WISCONSIN — Our lab observes and models micrometeorological, ecological, and biogeochemical interactions of the surface with the atmosphere at regional to global scales, with a focus on anthropogenic influences to these interactions. Major research projects and tools we employ in our research are described below. Our current projects center on several themes focused on understanding emergent ecosystem and atmospheric phenomena at regional spatial scales in spatially heterogenous or complex systems.

One of our areas of focus is studying regional fluxes as means to contrast environmental controls on regional CO2 and CH4 biogeochemistry. We measure fluxes with tower-based eddy covariance and micrometeorological observations and have instrumented sites in northern Wisconsin and Michigan as part of the Chequamegon Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study. We have also worked on developing standardized algorithms to decompose the observed net fluxes into their components: respiration and photosynthesis. 

We recently tested the new Picarro flux analyzer on the WLEF tower site in Wisconsin. The Picarro flux instrument is an easy-to-use analyzer that provides quality 10 Hz data, reliably, without the need for frequent calibration or compressed reference gases.  With the Picarro, I can maximize my data collection time and be confident in the accuracy with fewer calibrations because the instrument does not drift with temperature.

We are also excited about our new air quality lab on the 15th floor.  Construction is nearing completion and a host of instruments, including the Picarro 4-species concentration analyzer (CO, CO2, CH4, and H2O), will be deployed for long-term air quality monitoring in Madison.

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