Tropospheric Remote Sensing Laboratory

Research Facility

Tropospheric Remote Sensing Laboratory
Saint Mary's University
Nova Scotia (NS)

The Tropospheric Remote Sensing Laboratory (TRSL) is housed in a modified shipping container and located on a rooftop at SMU.  The TRSL includes a fully equipped weather station as well as a tiled and railed outdoor roof research space suitable for the deployment of complementary atmospheric composition instrumentation (e.g., other horizontal or zenith-viewing remote sensing instrumentation, in situ trace gas / aerosol / fog instrumentation, a ceilometer, deposition instrumentation, etc.)   The principal instrument at TRSL is currently an Open-Path Fourier Transform InfraRed spectrometer (OP-FTIR), which provides the continuous characterization, with high temporal resolution, of a broad suite of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and other trace gases relevant to air quality and the greenhouse effect (e.g, O3, NOx, SO2, CO, CH4, CO2, N2O, NH3, HCHO, and others).  The OP-FTIR is also available for mobile characterization and monitoring, on a campaign-basis, of individual sources (e.g., ship plumes, stacks), line emission sources (e.g., roads), and diffuse sources (e.g., crop fields, fuel wood combustion) of trace gases.  The TRSL laboratory provides a unique ground-truthing dataset to challenge satellite- and model-derived surface concentrations and emissions of air quality trace gases and greenhouse gases.

  • Astronomy and Physics
  • Environmental and Earth Sciences
  • Clean Technology
  • Environmental Technologies and Related Services


Aldona Wiacek


Open-Path Fourier Transform InfraRed (OP-FTIR) Spectrometer

Consists of a spectrometer which emits an infrared beam toward a retroreflector, which reflects the light back at the spectrometer. From the infrared absorption spectrum we are able to determine which atmospheric gases are present (spectral position) and in what quantity (absorption intensity).  The spectrometer and retro must be separated by anywhere from tens to hundreds of meters, depending on the target gas

Date submitted: Mon, Aug 27, 2018 12:41 PM
Date updated: Mon, Aug 27, 2018 12:42 PM