Development of a new technique for determining watershed/airshed gas fluxes: SkyGas

Departments: Biology, Chemistry & Electronics‌

Project Director Prof. Phil Ineson

We lack some very fundamental and important data on the sources and sinks of the main 'greenhouse gases' (GHGs), which are the responsible agents for climate change.  It is critical for environmental scientists to quantify where the major sources and sinks of the most common GHGs are, with these data being essential for the development of national and international strategies for managing energy production and land use.

Skygas measuring

The necessary data are frequently missing because the measurement of these GHGs is difficult; conventional analytical approaches have severe limitations and tend to be very labour intensive. Consequently, we have almost no night-time source/sink data for certain of these gases and we often have large gaps in where and when we have measured.

Researchers from Biology, Electronics and Chemistry have built a unique automatic GHG measurement system based on 'fly-by-wire' camera technology, applying it for the first time to tackle the huge challenges associated with making automated GHG source-sink measurements over complicated landscapes.

Funding: Natural Environment Research Council - Macronutrient Cycles Programme

Video of the system in action and views from the camera on board