We present a new instrument, Hoxotope, for the in situ measurement of H2O and its heavy deuterium isotopologue (HDO) in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere aboard the NASA WB-57. Sensitive measurements of δD are accomplished through the vacuum UV photolysis of water followed by laser-induced fluorescence detection of the resultant OH and OD photofragments. The photolysis laser-induced fluorescence technique can obtain SN>20 for 1ppbv HDO and SN>30 for 5ppmvH2O for 10s data, providing the sensitivity required for δD measurements in the tropopause region. The technique responds rapidly to changing water concentrations due to its inherently small sampling volume, augmented by steps taken to minimize water uptake on instrument plumbing. Data from the summer 2005 Aura Validation Experiment Water Isotope Intercomparison Flights (AVE-WIIF) out of Houston, TX show agreement for H2O between Hoxotope and the Harvard water vapor instrument and for HDO between Hoxotope and the Harvard ICOS water isotope instrument, to within stated instrument uncertainties. The successful intercomparison validates Hoxotope as a credible source of δD data in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere.

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