Abstract

We employed a midinfrared frequency comb source for methane detection in ambient air. The transmitted spectra over a bandwidth of about 500 nm were recorded with an optical spectrum analyzer under various experimental conditions of different path lengths. The normalized absorption spectra were compared and fitted with simulations, yielding quantitative values of concentrations of methane and water vapor in the ambient air. The 3σ detection limit was 6.6×107  cm1 in ambient air for a broad spectral range, achieved with a path length of 590  m. This approach provides a broad spectral range, a large dynamic range, high sensitivity, and accurate calibration. The performed analysis of the residuals shows that an excellent agreement between the measured and calculated spectral profiles was obtained.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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