Tropospheric Remote Sensing Laboratory

Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
What the facility does

Remote sensing of atmospheric composition by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy

Area(s) of Expertise

The Tropospheric Remote Sensing Laboratory (TRSL) uses FTIR spectroscopy to characterize atmospheric composition in the planetary boundary layer at SMU and in the field, with the goal of improving the understanding and prediction of atmospheric processes.  We are interested in atmospheric trace gases involved in air pollution and climate.  Our research activities include the development of ground- and satellite-based remote sensing instrumentation and data analysis techniques (retrieval algorithms and inverse theory).

Research Services

Atmospheric chemical composition characterization, atmospheric transport modelling, remote sensing instrumentation development, remote sensing retrieval algorithm development. 

Sectors of Application
  • Chemical industries
  • Clean technology
  • Energy (renewable and fossil)
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Healthcare and social services
  • Mining, minerals and metals
  • Ocean industries
  • Policy and governance

Name of specialized lab

Name of equipment

Description of function

Tropospheric Remote Sensing Laboratory

Open-path Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Remote Sensing System

Radiation from an IR source is modulated by an FTIR spectrometer, transmitted through up to ~250 m in the atmosphere, and reflected back to a detector near the source.  Spectral signatures of infrared-absorbing trace gases in the atmospheric path are used to quantify atmospheric composition at the ppb level.