Portable gas analysers are nothing new, but Los Gatos Research reckons its latest instrument is the word’s first greenhouse gas analyser to qualify for the label "ultraportable".
Able to detect the three major greenhouse gases – CO2 (carbon dioxide), CH4 (methane), and H2O (water vapour) to a claimed accuracy of parts per billion, the appropriately-named Ultra-portable Greenhouse Gas Analyser, or Ugga, is built into a rugged case small enough to be taken as aircraft carry-on luggage.
Los Gatos says that Ugga can simultaneously measure concentrations of CO2, CH4, and H2O, without suffering cross-sensitivity with other gases. The device consumes less than 70 watts, which the company says is less than a standard light bulb (but, as tungsten bulbs over 60W have already be come unavailable Europe, this isn’t necessarily a universal truth).
The instrument works on the company’s proprietary Off-axis Integrated Cavity Output Spectroscopy (OA-Icos) technology, a cavity-enhanced laser absorption technique which it says is more precise and more rugged than competing technologies. Being a laser-based technique, the instrument automatically corrects CO2 and CH4 for water vapour dilution and spectroscopic effects. Both are reported as dry mole fractions, enabling accurate measurements without the need for sample drying.
The choice of technology and the ruggedised case makes Ugga suitable for portable operation, and the package fits within US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines. Applications include compliance monitoring of industrial emissions and landfills, leak detection, air quality studies, soil flux studies, and other field operations where greenhouse gas emissions are to be monitored.