IPDA LiDAR for Mapping and Quantification of Natural Gas Emissions
Natural gas emissions originate from a multitude of sources. All natural gas emissions contribute to rising atmospheric concentrations of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Since 2013, Ball Aerospace, with partial funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) has been developing integrated path differential absorption (IPDA) LIDAR instrumentation with sufficient resolution and sensitivity to identify and quantify individual natural gas sources. The instrumentation?s wide area coverage capability allows efficient mapping of emissions from gathering and distribution networks, processing facilities, landfills, natural seeps, agriculture, and other distributed natural gas sources. This paper summarizes the benefits of airborne instrumentation for natural gas emission mapping, describes the operating characteristics and design of this IPDA instrumentation, and reviews results from recent testing flights as part of the Stanford/EDF Challenge to locate and quantify blind study emissions.