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Keywords:

  • airborne aerosol;
  • chemical composition;
  • intercomparison

[1] As part of the two field studies, Transport and Chemical Evolution over the Pacific (TRACE-P) and the Asian Aerosol Characterization Experiment (ACE-Asia), the inorganic chemical composition of tropospheric aerosols was measured over the western Pacific from three separate aircraft using various methods. Comparisons are made between the rapid online techniques of the particle into liquid sampler (PILS) for measurement of a suite of fine particle a mist chamber/ion chromatograph (MC/IC) measurement of fine sulfate, and the longer time-integrated filter and micro-orifice impactor (MOI) measurements. Comparisons between identical PILS on two separate aircraft flying in formation showed that they were highly correlated (e.g., sulfate r2 of 0.95), but were systematically different by 10 ± 5% (linear regression slope and 95% confidence bounds), and had generally higher concentrations on the aircraft with a low-turbulence inlet and shorter inlet-to-instrument transmission tubing. Comparisons of PILS and mist chamber measurements of fine sulfate on two different aircraft during formation flying had an r2 of 0.78 and a relative difference of 39% ± 5%. MOI ionic data integrated to the PILS upper measurement size of 1.3 μm sampling from separate inlets on the same aircraft showed that for sulfate, PILS and MOI were within 14% ± 6% and correlated with an r2 of 0.87. Most ionic compounds were within ±30%, which is in the range of differences reported between PILS and integrated samplers from ground-based comparisons. In many cases, direct intercomparison between the various instruments is difficult due to differences in upper-size detection limits. However, for this study, the results suggest that the fine particle mass composition measured from aircraft agree to within 30–40%.