B.C. marine biologists have found the alpha antenna used in the U.S. government’s proposed Arctic Ocean methane monitoring station.
The Canadian Remote Sensing Network (CRSN) says the Alpha C10 is the second best antenna in the world.
“It’s the best antenna that we’ve seen so far,” said CRSN chief scientist Brian Bock.
The Alpha C12 was installed on the station in the Beaufort Sea in late June.
It’s also the second-best antenna for detecting the methane from the deep ocean.
“If we can get an antenna like that, that can be really useful,” said Bock, who is also the lead scientist for the Canadian Remote Environment Science Network (CREN).
He said the antenna was tested in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year and then tested at a different location in the Arctic Ocean in late May.
He said it worked flawlessly.
“The antenna has been operating flawlessly, but the measurements we’ve taken are of a different kind, and that’s to the extent that you can do this type of study, you have to measure things from a different vantage point,” he said.CRSn has tested and tested and is now hoping to find out what other sensors might be more sensitive.
“There are a number of different kinds of sensors we could be using to determine methane, and it’s just really hard to predict what you’re going to find,” he added.
“We’re going through this exercise right now and looking at the various measurements we’re getting from different sensors.
We’re looking at all the different kinds we have to take to get that answer, but I think that the most sensitive sensors that we have are those that are very deep.
And there’s so much methane in the ocean that it can be very difficult to detect at that depth.””
So far we have only done some of those tests, and I would say that it’s pretty much the same in every direction, so that’s a very good sign,” he continued.”
And then, of course, the next step is to do some more tests.”
The Alpha A12 is the first one to be tested at the Canadian Polar Research Laboratory in Calgary, which uses a different type of methane sensor, known as a methane-gas detection array.
The Alpha A13 is currently being tested at Canada’s Mount Polley station in Quebec.
Calls for more dataThe CREN scientists are asking the federal government to provide more data on the Alpha A2, which is expected to be deployed at the U-turn Point 3 in Nunavut in late July.
Bock said the Alpha E2, an Alpha A14 and Alpha A15 are being tested in different locations in the north Atlantic and the Arctic.
“So we want to see what other instruments we can do, so we’re going on this exercise now and taking measurements to try to find these different kinds, and also what other kinds of instruments might be better,” he explained.
“It’s really important that we don’t just do it by accident.
We have to do it in a very careful way and we want as many data points as possible to be able to tell us whether or not it’s a good idea or not,” said Rene St. Laurent, senior research scientist for CREN.
He said a large part of the problem lies in the fact that methane is very different from other forms of carbon dioxide.
“Methane is different in several ways,” said St. Louis.
“Methanol is a gas that has been converted to carbon dioxide, and so that means that methane has a different molecular structure, and therefore different reactions that can take place in the methane gas that we see in the atmosphere.”
“And so you have different kinds that we know that methane can be produced and it can get released from, and we don, in fact, have all kinds of measurements that show that, so it’s kind of a big puzzle,” he concluded.