This talk, the latest in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Innovators Seminar series, focuses on recent laser-based gas sensing developments at Southwest Sciences. In one project, techniques and instrumentation developed for eddy flux measurements were repurposed to show the proof of principle of a Mars rover that can track trace gas plumes to their source, using controlled releases of methane. The methane flux sensor is available from our licensee. A Raman based probe for nitrogen led to combustion diagnostics. Finally, a compact sensor for measuring flux of nitrogen dioxide (N2O) from soils and agricultural sites has been developed and is available for Phase III applications.
1. Laser-based gas sensing instrumentation can be compact, rugged and sensitive.
2. Adding wind measurements allows measurement of gas flux or tracing a plume back to its source
3. Techniques exist for measuring many small, infrared-active gases
About the speaker: Dr. Chris Hovde, principal research scientist for Southwest Systems, received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at Yale and his PhD in Chemistry at UC Berkeley. He joined Southwest Sciences, Inc. in 1990 after a post-doctoral appointment at Princeton. His research includes the development of laser-based methods for measuring fluxes and concentrations of trace gases.