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Unlocking Carbon History in Antarctic Ice

SmartTrak® 100 Mass Flow Meter

No greater challenge faces our planet right now than determining conclusively how we are impacting the environment and what can be done to arrest and reverse global warming. One important method for measuring the rising level of CO2 in earth’s atmosphere is toCarbon History look back through time by measuring the amount of CO2 locked in Antarctic ice. To deepen our understanding, Stanford researcher David Mucciarone spends two months in the Antarctic every year measuring the breakdown of inorganic carbon in both sea and ice to learn how much carbon dioxide the ocean can effectively digest.

Mucciarone uses a device called a carbon analyzer to measure the carbon locked into the ice and ocean water. This device requires precise measurement and control of sample flows in order to be effective.

SIERRA'S SOLUTION

With just days left before Stanford researcher David Mucciarone was to leave for Antarctica, the mass flow controller in his carbon analyzer failed.

His instrumentation supplier recommended that he make the transition to Sierra. Heeding that advice, he purchased a Sierra SmartTrak® 100 Digital Mass Flow Controller just prior to boarding ship. He installed it on the trip down to Antarctica, and it worked...perfectly. But fierce trials lay ahead as the icebreaker Mucciarone was travelling on plunged through hundreds of miles of thick ice before delivering him to one of the most severe environments on the planet.

Despite the challenges, the SmartTrak 100 never faltered. “We’re very happy and that’s the bottom line,” says Mucciarone.

Based on his success with the carbon analyzer, he plans to employ additional analyzers on ocean reef and other ecosystems around the world—each containing a Sierra SmartTrak 100 mass flow controller.

Here’s what makes Sierra’s SmartTrak 100 an ideal choice:
  • Patented, inherently linear Laminar Flow Element (LFE) design
  • Provides smooth and flexible valve performance
  • Pilot Module allows user to switch between ten pre-programmed gases, change setpoint value and source, set zero, span and full scale, modify engineering units, choose output signal...and much more
  • Has more robust electronics than other industry mass flow controllers