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

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.

April 15, 2011

European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2011 -- impressions

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.

April 13, 2011

Adding Carbon Monoxide to Attribute GHGs to Combustion (Fossil Fuels, Biomass)

Discussions on the topic of atmospheric research almost inevitably invoke some form of the question: What is the source? Talk to most atmospheric scientists about this question and usually one of the first things they will mention is the inherent difficulty in separating out man-made emissions from Mother Nature's normal, but complex cycles. Combustion engines and gas pipeline leaks release CO2 and methane into the atmosphere, but then again, so does the annual spring thaw in the Northern Hemisphere.

April 4, 2011

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.

April 4, 2011

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

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.

April 4, 2011

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.

March 31, 2011

Business cards and instruments

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.

March 11, 2011

John and the Volcano: Running an Analyzer at the Edge of Creation

This is a picture from one of our customers / collaborators, John Stix and fellow intrepid researchers from the Earth and Planetary Sciences Deparment at McGill University in Canada. We believe this is the first time anyone has driven a live, running anallyzer up and down a smoking volcano to capture gas concentration samples.

March 10, 2011

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.

March 8, 2011

Department of Crop and Forest Sciences, University of Lleida

LLEIDA, SPAIN — Our lab performs isotopic water analysis with a Picarro L2120-i analyzer. Our principal application using the Picarro analyzer is the isotopic analysis of xylem water to identify variations in water source during its uptake from the soil. This is based on the fact that there is an evaporation gradient in the soil and as a result, water obtained from distinct depths has a distinct isotopic signal. We are using this principle in distinct contexts to resolve various questions...

January 1, 2011