Methane is an important greenhouse gas, behind only water vapor and carbon dioxide in regard to green house impact. Understanding the sources and sinks of methane has become the subject of many climatic studies, particularly in the Arctic. The proposed sensor will make measurements of methane in remote areas more economical. Additionally, the platform developed in this project will be readily adapted to measurements of other gases such as water vapor or carbon dioxide.
The technology developed in this project may have use in natural gas pipeline monitoring. Also, the technology has several land based applications. These applications include flux monitoring and natural gas leak detection.