Trace Gas Quantification with Small Unmanned Aerial Systems

T. J. Schuyler, M. I. Guzman, S. Bailey, Jamey Jacob

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Measurements of atmospheric composition are generally performed with advanced instrumentation from ground stations using tall towers and weather balloons or with manned aircraft. Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are a promising technology for atmospheric monitoring of trace atmospheric gases as they can bridge the gap between the regions of the atmospheric boundary layer measured by ground stations and aircraft. However, in general, the sophisticated instrumentation required for these measurements are heavy, preventing its deployment with small UAS. In order to successfully detect and quantify these gases, sensor packages aboard UAS must be lightweight, have low-power consumption, and possess limits of detection on the ppm scale or below with reasonably fast response times. Thus, a new generation of portable instrument is being developed in this work to meet these requirements employing new sensing packages. The cross sensitivity of these sensors to several gases is examined through laboratory testing of the instrument under variable environmental conditions prior to performing field measurements. Datasets include timestamps with position, temperature, relative humidity, pressure, along with variable mixing ratio values of important greenhouse gases. The work will present an analysis of the results gathered during authorized flights performed during the second CLOUD-MAP§ field campaign held in June 2017. §CLOUD-MAP: Collaboration Leading Operational UAS Development for Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, a 4-year NSF funded effort.
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
EventAmerican Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2017 -
Duration: Dec 1 2017 → …


ConferenceAmerican Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2017
Period12/1/17 → …


  • 0305 Aerosols and particles
  • 0321 Cloud/radiation interaction
  • 0350 Pressure
  • density
  • and temperature
  • 0394 Instruments and techniques


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