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NASA, UC Merced Successfully Test Miniature Methane Sensor

March 28, 2016

Researchers from the UC Merced Mechatronics, Embedded Systems and Automation (MESA) Lab and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) recently tested JPL miniature methane gas sensor similar to one developed for use on Mars, on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

A team conducted the tests at the end of February on the Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve. During the controlled testing, researchers flew a small UAV equipped with the Open Path Laser Spectrometer (OPLS) sensor at various distances from gas sources to test the accuracy and robustness of the system.