Tracer Dissemination Devices

FRD is expert in the dissemination of several tracer materials, particularly SF6 and perfluorocarbons. Critical to the success of an atmospheric tracer field study is the controlled and constant release of the tracer material. Without a good understanding of the tracer release rate and amount, the experiment is of dubious value. FRD's tracer dissemination devices always include a real-time recording device with built-in redundancy, as well as the capability to determine the total amount of tracer released over the entire dissemination period.

Examples of tracer release devices constructed and deployed by FRD are illustrated below and to the right. Experimental plans that call for high or low rates of dissemination are easily accommodated. Mobile as well as stationary platforms have been developed. FRD has released atmospheric tracers from very diverse mobile airborne platforms such as a twin engine passenger plane, an Air Force C-130 Hercules, and even a 130-ft. blimp. Ground-based dissemination devices have been installed on mobile platforms such as a motor home or the back of a pickup truck. Ground-based stationary platforms have been installed in various remotely accessible areas such as factory smoke stacks and smelter vents.

FRD has also constructed devices for instantaneous releases of tracer material to simulate a puff. Other devices have been constructed to operate continuously for several weeks. Some installations have required remote operation and monitoring from the FRD home offices in Idaho Falls, ID. FRD can design and construct dissemination devices to accommodate almost any experimental plan.

SF6Dissemination Capabilities

  • Release rate: 0.1 to 750 g s-1
  • Release duration: Instantaneous to several hours.
  • Tracer in liquid or vapor state.

Perfluorocarbon Dissemination Capabilities

  • Release rate: 0.2 to 200 mg s-1
  • Release duration: Minutes to months.
  • Tracers: o-PDCH, PDCB, PTCH, i-PPCH, etc. in liquid form.

For more information on the safety and characteristics of the tracers disseminated by FRD, please click here.

Low-rate tracer release installed in an RV.

Tracer release from a heated stack that simulates a typical factory smoke stack.

"Puff" tracer release from a balloon. Click here for video. Note that the dust released in the video is not the tracer. It is simply talc that lines the inside of any large balloon to keep it from sticking together. (The actual tracer is invisible.)

Mobile tracer release setup in a pickup truck.

Modified: March 1, 2011
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