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DroN2O: A Drone-Based System for Measuring Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Agricultural Fields

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: ARPA-E
Contract: DE-AR0001386
Agency Tracking Number: 2251-1511
Amount: $256,573.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 1
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0002251
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-03-31
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-03-30
Small Business Information
1777 Highland Dr Ste B
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
United States
DUNS: 969868298
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Will Johnson
 (616) 490-5066
Business Contact
 John Dodds
Phone: (734) 975-8777
Research Institution

Michigan Aerospace Corporation proposes to develop an inexpensive system to sense nitrous
oxide (N2O) emissions from agricultural fields using laser-based sensors mounted on drones.
These sensors include an optical absorption cell, a wind sensor, and a camera for plant health and
ground assessment. The measurements from these sensors will be combined and processed with
artificial-intelligence-enabled software in order to be able to accurately measure N2O emissions
from a given farm field during the entire growing season. The resulting data will provide
farmers of energy feedstock crops with tangible incentives to alter farming practices in ways that
reduce greenhouse gas emissions. N2O is a significant greenhouse gas that, once emitted, resides
in the atmosphere much longer than CO2 and has three hundred times heat-trapping capability
than that of CO2; it also depletes the ozone layer. The sensors and overall system will be
developed and tested over the course of this project, using heavily-instrumented test plots funded
by ARPA-E for “ground-truth” readings during validation campaigns.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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