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Portable high precision nitrogen gas analyzer for eddy covariance flux measurements

Award Information
Agency: Department of Commerce
Branch: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Contract: WC-133R-15-CN-0069
Agency Tracking Number: 15-1-011
Amount: $95,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.6.1X
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-09-03
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-03-03
Small Business Information
1570 Pacheco Street, Ste # E-11, Sante Fe, NM, 87505-3993
DUNS: 153579891
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Joel Silver
 Principal Research Scientist
 (505) 984-1322
Business Contact
 Alan Stanton
Title: President
Phone: (505) 984-1322
Research Institution
Recent theoretical studies of eddy flux correlation have suggested that the commonly used assumption of dry air having no net flux is erroneous and can lead to significant errors in reported observations. Presently, dry air density is calculated indirectly from measured temperature, pressure and relative humidity, all of which contribute to increased uncertainties in the result. If instead the density of nitrogen, which has no net vertical flux, was measured directly, the accuracy of eddy correlation measurements could be improved substantially. Southwest Sciences, Inc. proposes to develop a portable nitrogen analyzer that would be used in conjunction with sonic anemometers to greatly improve the performance of eddy covariance flux measurements. These studies are critical for characterizing the sinks and sources of greenhouse gases. In Phase I, we will demonstrate the viability of a spectroscopic technique that can measure atmospheric nitrogen with high precision and time response, yet meet the needs of a portable field instrument. Critical tradeoffs in laser selection and analyzer design will be studied to determine the optimum operating configuration. The precision of the analyzer will be evaluated over the expected range of temperatures and pressures required for field operation.

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

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