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Characterizing the automatic radon flux transfer standard system Autoflux: laboratory calibration and field experiments

Abstract: High-quality, long-term measurements of terrestrial trace gas emissions are important for investigations of atmospheric, geophysical and biological processes to help mitigate climate change and protect the environment and the health of citizens. High-frequency terrestrial fluxes of the radioactive noble gas 222Rn, in particular, are useful for validating radon flux maps and used to evaluate the performance of regional atmospheric models, to improve greenhouse gas emission inventories (by the radon tracer method) and to determine radon priority areas for radiation protection goals. A new automatic radon flux system (Autoflux) was developed as a transfer standard (TS) to assist with establishing a traceability chain for field-based radon flux measurements. The operational characteristics and features of the system were optimized based on a literature review of existing flux measurement systems. To characterize and calibrate Autoflux, a bespoke radon exhalation bed (EB) facility was also constructed with the intended purpose of providing a constant radon exhalation under a specific set of controlled laboratory conditions. The calibrated Autoflux was then used to transfer the derived calibration to a second continuous radon flux system under laboratory conditions; both instruments were then tested in the field and compared with modeled fluxes. This paper presents (i) a literature review of state-of-the-art radon flux systems and EB facilities; (ii) the design, characterization and calibration of a reference radon EB facility; (iii) the design, characterization and calibration of the Autoflux system; (iv) the calibration of a second radon flux system (INTE Flux) using the EB and Autoflux, with a total uncertainty of 9% (kCombining double low line1) for an average radon flux of 1/41800mBqm-2s-1 under controlled laboratory conditions; and (v) an example application of the calibrated TS and INTE Flux systems for in situ radon flux measurements, which are then compared with simulated radon fluxes. Calibration of the TS under different environmental conditions and at lower reference fluxes will be the subject of a separate future investigation

 Fuente: Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 2023, 16(10), 2655-2672

 Editorial: Copernicus Publications ; European Geosciences Union (EGU)

 Año de publicación: 2023

 Nº de páginas: 18

 Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.5194/amt-16-2655-2023

 ISSN: 1867-8548,1867-1381

 Url de la publicación: https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-16-2655-2023