We report an open-path chirped laser dispersion spectrometer capable of detecting the atmospheric methane concentration above the background using both specular and diffusive reflective surfaces via two distinct operation modes in a stand-off detection configuration. The system is integrated with simultaneous ranging functionality, which enables average concentration measurements for varying optical pathlengths. The system was first tested for accuracy and characterized to achieve sensitivity of 2.9 ppm-m/Hz1/2 and pathlength precision of 0.2 m/Hz1/2 with a controlled release of methane outside the laboratory. The instrument was subsequently field-deployed in the proximity of a natural gas compressor station for fugitive methane detection. The instrument successfully detected methane plumes and narrowed down the location of the plume through multipath measurement. The field measurements were verified by a co-located reference mobile methane sensor.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics