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Data for: Single-blind determination of methane detection limits and quantification accuracy using aircraft-based LiDAR


Bell, Clay et al. (2022), Data for: Single-blind determination of methane detection limits and quantification accuracy using aircraft-based LiDAR, Dryad, Dataset,


Methane detection limits, emission rate quantification accuracy, and potential cross-species interference are assessed for Bridger Photonics’ Gas Mapping LiDAR (GML) system utilizing data collected during laboratory testing and single-blind controlled release testing. Laboratory testing identified no significant interference in the path-integrated methane measurement from the gas species tested (ethylene, ethane, propane, n-butane, i-butane, and carbon dioxide). The controlled release study, comprised of 650 individual measurement passes, represents the largest dataset collected to date to characterize GML with respect to point-source emissions. Binomial regression is utilized to create detection curves illustrating the likelihood of detecting an emission of a given size under different wind conditions and for different flight altitudes. Wind-normalized methane detection limits (90% detection rate) of 0.25 (kg/h)/(m/s) and 0.41 (kg/h)/(m/s) are observed at a flight  altitude of 500 feet and 675 feet above ground level, respectively. Quantification accuracy is also assessed for emissions ranging from 0.15 to 1400 kg/h. When emission rate estimates were generated using wind from High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model (the primary wind source that Bridger uses for their commercial operations), linear regression indicates bias of 8.1% (R2 = 0.89). For 95% of controlled releases above Bridger’s stated production-sector detection sensitivity (3 kg/h with 90% probability of detection), accuracy of individual emission rate estimates produced using HRRR wind ranged from -64.1% to 87.0%. Across all controlled releases 38.1% of estimates had error within +/- 20%, and 87.3% of measurements were within a factor of two (-50% to +100% error). At low wind speed (less than 2 m/s) and low emission rates (less than 3 kg/h) emission estimates are biased high; however, when removed do not impact the regression significantly. The aggregate quantification error including all detected emission events was +8.2% using the HRRR wind source. The resulting detection curves and quantification accuracy illustrate important implications which must be considered when using measurements from GML or other remote emission measurement techniques to inform or validate inventory models, or to audit reported emission levels from oil and gas systems.


The Environmental Partnership of the American Petroleum Institute


Stanford Natural Gas Initiative