A Carbon Dioxide Sensor Based on cw- Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy 2003-01-2549
An optical sensor for the detection of carbon dioxide concentrations and stable isotope ratios is described. Either a continuous wave, fiber-coupled distributed feedback laser or an external cavity laser is used to pump an optical cavity absorption cell in cw-Cavity Ringdown Spectroscopy (cw-CRDS). This technique exploits the sensitivity enhancements provided by the long effective pathlength from the optical cavity created between two highly reflective mirrors (R>0.9999). The inherently high precision of the technique combined with its rapid data throughput allows for reliable measurements of both concentration and the isotopic composition of the sampled carbon dioxide. Data collected using a prototype of this sensor could be useful for monitoring module occupancy, crew health (through breath tests), and plant growth chambers.