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A prototype closed-path Fourier transform infrared spectrometer system (FTIK), operating from battery power and with a Stirling engine microcooler for detector cooling, was successfully used for airborne measurements of sulfur dioxide at Kilauea volcano. Airborne profiles of the volcanic plume emanating from the erupting Pu'u 'O'o vent on the East Rift of Kilauea revealed levels of nearly 3 ppm SO2 in the core of the plume. An emission rate of 2,160 metric tons per day of sulfur dioxide was calculated from the FTIR data, which agrees closely with simultaneous measurements by a correlation spectrometer (COSPEC). The rapid spatial sampling possible from an airborne platform distinguishes the methodology described here from previous FTIR measurements.
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Airborne volcanic plume measurements using a FTIR spectrometer, Kilauea volcano, Hawaii