Regional trace-gas source attribution using a field-deployed dual frequency comb spectrometer
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Regional trace-gas source attribution using a field-deployed dual frequency comb spectrometer
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    Optica, 5(4), 320-327.
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  • Description:
    Identification and quantification of trace-gas sources is a major challenge for understanding and regulating air quality and greenhouse gas emissions. Current approaches provide either continuous but localized monitoring, or quasi-instantaneous "snapshot-in-time" regional monitoring. There is a need for emissions detection that provides both continuous and regional coverage, because sources and sinks can be episodic and spatially variable. We field deploy a dual frequency comb laser spectrometer for the first time, enabling an observing system that provides continuous detection of trace-gas sources over multiple-square-kilometer regions. Field tests simulating methane emissions from oil and gas production demonstrate detection and quantification of a 1.6 g min(-1) source (less than the average emissions from a small pneumatic controller) from a distance of 1 kin, and the ability to discern two leaks among a field of many potential sources. The technology achieves the goal of detecting, quantifying, and attributing emissions sources continuously through time, over large areas, and at emissions rates similar to 1000 x lower than current regional approaches. It therefore provides a useful tool for monitoring and mitigating undesirable sources and doses a major information gap in the atmospheric sciences. (C) 2018 Optical Society of America under the terms of the OSA Open Access Publishing Agreement
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