19 Apr 2022
19 Apr 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Improvements of a low-cost CO2 commercial NDIR sensor for UAV atmospheric mapping applications

Yunsong Liu1,2, Jean-Daniel Paris1,2, Mihalis Vrekoussis2,3, Panayiota Antoniou2, Christos Constantinides2, Maximilien Desservettaz2, Christos Keleshis2, Olivier Laurent1, Andreas Leonidou2, Carole Philippon1, Panagiotis Vouterakos2, Pierre-Yves Quéhé2, Philippe Bousquet1, and Jean Sciare2 Yunsong Liu et al.
  • 1Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, UMR8212, IPSL, Gif sur Yvette, 91191, France
  • 2Climate and Atmosphere Research Center (CARE-C), the Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, 2113, Cyprus
  • 3Institute of Environmental Physics and Remote Sensing (IUP) & Center of Marine Environmental Sciences (MARUM), University of Bremen, Bremen, D-28359, Germany

Abstract. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) provide a cost-effective way to fill in gaps between surface in-situ observations and remote-sensed data from space. In this study, a novel portable CO2 measuring system suitable for operations on-board small-sized UAVs has been developed and validated. It is based on a low-cost commercial nondispersive near-infrared (NDIR) CO2 sensor (Senseair AB, Sweden), with a total weight of 1058 g, including batteries. The system performs in situ measurements autonomously, allowing for its integration into various platforms. Accuracy and linearity tests in the lab showed that the precision remains within ±1 ppm (1σ) at 1 Hz. Corrections due to temperature and pressure changes were applied following environmental chamber experiments. The accuracy of the system in the field was validated against a reference instrument (Picarro, USA) onboard a piloted aircraft and it was found to be ±2 ppm (1σ) at 1 Hz and ±1 ppm (1σ) at 1 min. Due to its fast response, the system has the capacity to measure CO2 mole fraction changes at 1 Hz, thus allowing the monitoring of CO2 emission plumes and the characteristic of their spatial and temporal distribution. Details of the measurement system and field implementations are described to support future UAV platform applications for atmospheric trace gas measurements.

Yunsong Liu et al.

Status: open (until 16 Jun 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2022-118', Grant Allen, 04 May 2022 reply

Yunsong Liu et al.

Yunsong Liu et al.


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Short summary
This manuscript details laboratory-based and field developments of a cost-effective and compacted UAV-CO2 sensor system to address the challenge of measuring CO2 with sufficient precision and acquisition frequency. We assess its performance extensively through laboratory and field tests and provide a case study in the urban area (Nicosia, Cyprus). We therefore expect that this portable system will be widely used for measuring CO2 emission and distribution in natural/urban environments.