Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Marcelo I. Guzman


The emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) has changed the composition of the atmosphere during the Anthropocene. A major technical and scientific challenge is quantifying the resulting fugitive trace gas fluxes under variable meteorological conditions. Accurately documenting the sources and magnitude of GHGs emission is an important undertaking for discriminating contributions of different processes to radiative forcing. Therefore, the adverse environmental and health effects of undetected gas leaks motivates new methods of detecting, characterizing, and quantifying plumes of fugitive trace gases. Currently, there is no mobile platform able to quantify trace gases at altitudes(UASs), or drones, can be deployed on-site in minutes and can support the payloads necessary to quantify trace gases. Thus, the research herein has contributed to the advancement of atmospheric, environmental, and analytical chemistry through the development, calibration, validation, and application of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS). The quantification of atmospheric gases with sUAS is expanding the ability to safely perform environmental monitoring tasks and quickly evaluate the impact of technologies. The experimental findings have developed the sUAS as a platform for atmospheric measurements and demonstrated applications of meteorological and trace gas measurements. The research ultimately enabled novel studies that quantified and modeled the atmospheric transport of trace gases to better understand their impact on environmental and atmospheric chemistry.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

1. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Award No. 80NSSC19M0032 (2019-2020)

2. NASA Kentucky Space Grant Consortium and EPSCoR Programs Award No. NNX15AR69H (2019-2020)

3. National Science Foundation (NSF) Award No. 1539070 (2017-2018)

Available for download on Sunday, May 22, 2022