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Sensors 2016, 16(2), 224; doi:10.3390/s16020224

A Quantum Cascade Laser-Based Optical Sensor for Continuous Monitoring of Environmental Methane in Dunkirk (France)

Laboratoire de Physicochimie de l’Atmosphère, Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale, Dunkerque 59140, France
Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031, China
Centre Commun de Mesures, Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale, Dunkerque 59140, France
ONERA, DOTA, BP 80100, Palaiseau cedex 91123, France
Current address: now with Groupe de Spectrom
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 December 2015 / Revised: 31 January 2016 / Accepted: 4 February 2016 / Published: 8 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infrared and THz Sensing and Imaging)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [6356 KB, uploaded 17 February 2016]   |  


A room-temperature continuous-wave (CW) quantum cascade laser (QCL)-based methane (CH4) sensor operating in the mid-infrared near 8 μm was developed for continuous measurement of CH4 concentrations in ambient air. The well-isolated absorption line (7F2,4 ← 8F1,2) of the ν4 fundamental band of CH4 located at 1255.0004 cm−1 was used for optical measurement of CH4 concentration by direct absorption in a White-type multipass cell with an effective path-length of 175 m. A 1σ (SNR = 1) detection limit of 33.3 ppb in 218 s was achieved with a measurement precision of 1.13%. The developed sensor was deployed in a campaign of measurements of time series CH4 concentration on a site near a suburban traffic road in Dunkirk (France) from 9th to 22nd January 2013. An episode of high CH4 concentration of up to ~3 ppm has been observed and analyzed with the help of meteorological parameters combined with back trajectory calculation using the Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model of NOAA. View Full-Text
Keywords: QCL-based sensor; environmental methane; campaign measurement QCL-based sensor; environmental methane; campaign measurement

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Maamary, R.; Cui, X.; Fertein, E.; Augustin, P.; Fourmentin, M.; Dewaele, D.; Cazier, F.; Guinet, L.; Chen, W. A Quantum Cascade Laser-Based Optical Sensor for Continuous Monitoring of Environmental Methane in Dunkirk (France). Sensors 2016, 16, 224.

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