Portable Methane Flux Meter

EPA Contract Number: 68D99069
Title: Portable Methane Flux Meter
Investigators: Hovde, David Christian
Small Business: Southwest Sciences Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 1999 through March 1, 2000
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , SBIR - Air Pollution , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


This Phase I project will investigate achieving a low power, portable system for measuring methane concentrations and fluxes. The system will combine diode laser-based trace gas concentration measurements with rapid wind speed measurements to determine fluxes using eddy correlation. By employing advanced diode laser modulation methods with signal processing electronics developed for the communications industry, a low-cost, lightweight system can be developed. Such a system can be deployed in remote locations and operated for extended periods using electricity generated by wind, solar panels, or traditional gasoline generators.

The result of the research will be a demonstration of a novel modulation and signal recovery method and an estimate of the cost, weight, and electrical consumption of a system based on this technology. In Phase II, extensive field measurements will be performed.

The proposed research has applications in trace gas measurement instrumentation for the atmospheric research community, portable leak detectors for the natural gas pipeline system, and the detection of toxic or hazardous gases at chemical plants and refineries.

Supplemental Keywords:

Scientific Discipline, Air, Toxics, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, air toxics, Chemistry, HAPS, Monitoring/Modeling, Engineering, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, monitoring, air pollutants, field portable systems, pollutant monitoring, detect, air pollution, methane, field monitoring, analyzer, measurement, continuous emissions monitoring

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report