The accurate measurement of greenhouse gas emissions is a challenge for atmospheric science. Long-range open-path sensors are flexible enough to be applied to a variety of complex emission sources, and single devices are often used to measure both high and low path-integrated concentrations. As this technology develops, it is important to examine potential sources of inaccuracy. A GasFinder3 open-path laser was tested with a range of path-integrated concentrations from 11.7 to 182 ppm∙m CH4
using certified standard gases. The measured path-integrated concentrations had a positive bias which was higher than 10% at low path-integrated concentrations (<50 ppm∙m) with a declining trend expected to be under 2% at 200 ppm∙m. A linear equation was used to correct the measured path-integrated concentrations to fit the expected values. After correction, the average bias was reduced to −0.36% and there was no relationship with path-integrated concentration. A relative bias less than ±3% was achieved above ca. 150 ppm∙m with or without calibration. Measurement campaigns may reduce error by increasing path lengths to maximize path-integrated concentration. When low path-integrated concentrations are expected, calibration over the expected range is beneficial.
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