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Diode laser sensor for methane detection on an unmanned aerial vehicle

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
17 b
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Southwest Sciences, Inc.
NM Santa Fe, NM 87505-3993
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: Diode laser sensor for methane detection on an unmanned aerial vehicle
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-13ER90589
Award Amount: $150,000.00


Ambient methane makes a substantial contribution to the greenhouse gas effect. Rapid, widespread accurate measurements of ambient methane concentration are needed to include in environmental models. D.O.E. is particularly interested in methane measurements in the Arctic where rapid climatic change is occurring. Southwest Sciences proposes to develop a compact, lightweight diode laser sensor for methane that can be flown on a small unmanned aerial vehicle. This sensor will operate in the 3300 nm region using a high sensitivity optical absorption technique. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The proposed sensor will be used for accurate measurements of ambient methane. Aside from environmental measurements, this technology will be useful for natural gas leak detection, both air and ground based. The aerial platform developed could also be applied for detection of other gases by using a different laser.

Principal Investigator:

Mark Paige

Business Contact:

Alan C. Stanton
Small Business Information at Submission:

Southwest Sciences, Inc.
NM Suite E-11 Santa Fe, NM 87505-3993

EIN/Tax ID: 850340320
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: Yes