Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) in Alberta: A New Remote Sensing Tool for Wide Area Measurement of Particulates, CO2, and CH4 Emissions from Energy Extraction and Production Sites
Abstract:Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Agency (AEMERA) in cooperation with the Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL) of Utah State University, have developed a mobile DIAL sensor designed specifically for particle, CO2 and CH4 emissions measurement.
Rapid expansion of the oil and gas industry in Alberta, including the oil sands, has challenged the Alberta Government to keep pace in its efforts to monitor and mitigate the environmental impacts of development. The limitations of current monitoring systems has pushed the provincial government to seek out advanced sensing technologies such as differential absorption lidar (DIAL) to help assess the impact of energy development and industrial operations. This instrument is housed inside a 36’ trailer and can be quickly staged and used to characterize source emissions and to locate fugitive leaks. DIAL is capable of measuring concentrations for carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) at ranges of up to 3 km with a spatial resolution of 1.5 m. DIAL can map both CO2 and CH4, as well as particulate matter (PM) in a linear fashion; by scanning the laser beam in both azimuth and elevation, DIAL can create images of emissions concentrations and ultimately can be used to determine emission factors, locate fugitive leaks, assess plume dispersion and confirm air dispersion modeling. The DIAL system has been deployed at a landfill, a coal-fired power plant, and an oil sands production area. A system overview of the DIAL instrument and recent results will be discussed.