Low Cost Balloon-Borne Carbon Dioxide Sensor
Scientists have reached a strong consensus that human emissions of greenhouse gases are causing global warming. Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an important trace atmospheric gas with both a greenhouse effect and a role in ozone depletion. The atmospheric burden of nitrous oxide increases by about 0.25%/yr. However, the detailed impact of N2O cannot be accurately assessed or mitigated as there is currently no quantitative analysis tool for N2O that combines the requisite precision (ppbv or better) with the rugged simplicity, low-drift, and hands-free operation necessary for real-time field studies at unattended monitoring stations. This project will develop a new greenhouse gas analyzer capable of recording nitrous oxide mixing ratios of outside ambient air. This analyzer, based on an optical absorption technique called Wavelength Scanned-Cavity Ringdown Spectroscopy (WS-CRDS), will require no human intervention, use minimal calibration standards, and will meet the generally accepted design specifications of the atmospheric research community. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns of many possible consequences of global warming, including increased risk of infectious disease epidemics, increased floods, landslides, avalanches, mudslides, decreased crop yields, decreased quality and quantity of water resources, and increased risk of forest fire. This low-cost nitrous oxide analysis tool would enable high-density field deployment for this important greenhouse gas.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Searchlight Sensors, Inc.
1100 N. Tustin Avenue Suite G Santa Ana, CA 92705
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