Technical Note: Formal blind intercomparison of HO2 measurements in the atmosphere simulation chamber SAPHIR during the HOxComp campaign
Abstract. Hydroperoxy radical (HO2) concentrations were measured during the formal blind intercomparison campaign HOxComp carried out in Jülich, Germany, in 2005. Three instruments detected HO2 via chemical conversion to hydroxyl radicals (OH) and subsequent detection of the sum of OH and HO2 by laser induced fluorescence (LIF). All instruments were based on the same detection and calibration scheme. Because measurements by a MIESR instrument failed during the campaign, no absolute reference measurement was available, so that the accuracy of individual instruments could not be addressed. Instruments sampled ambient air for three days and were attached to the atmosphere simulation chamber SAPHIR during the second part of the campaign. Six experiments of one day each were conducted in SAPHIR, where air masses are homogeneously mixed, in order to investigate the performance of instruments and to determine potential interferences of measurements under well-controlled conditions. Linear correlation coefficients (R2) between measurements of the LIF instruments are generally high and range from 0.82 to 0.98. However, the agreement between measurements is variable. The regression analysis of the entire data set of measurements in SAPHIR yields slopes between 0.69 to 1.26 and intercepts are smaller than typical atmospheric daytime concentrations (less than 1 pptv). The quality of fit parameters improves significantly, when data are grouped into data subsets of similar water vapor concentrations. Because measurements of LIF instruments were corrected for a well-characterized water dependence of their sensitivities, this indicates that an unknown factor related to water vapor affected measurements in SAPHIR. Measurements in ambient air are also well-correlated, but regression parameters differ from results obtained from SAPHIR experiments. This could have been caused by differences in HO2 concentrations in the sampled air at the slightly different locations of instruments.