3335 Airport Rd., Suite B Boulder, Colorado 80301
+1 (720) 408 4001

Scientific Aviation in Brief

We are an airborne scientific research company specializing in atmospheric measurements and emissions flux quantifications of methane, CO2, and other trace gases, with applications for air quality, climate, leak detection and repair (LDAR), and atmospheric research. Our services and expertise provide our clients and collaborators with advanced capabilities to better understand our impacts on the atmosphere, and the sound data needed to make informed decisions.


Understanding the size and location of trace gas emissions is the first step in remediation. Aircraft are often the optimal 3-dimensional research platform to do this. We make accurate, in situ, airborne measurements of trace atmospheric gases such as methane (CH4), ethane (C2H6), carbon dioxide (CO2), and ozone (O3). Our skilled team of scientists can carefully design the flight tracks, analyze the data, and apply budget techniques to the processed data to estimate the magnitude and location of these trace gas sources. For example, by flying sets of upwind and downwind legs throughout the atmospheric boundary layer the integrated changes in concentration within the enclosed volume, which is equal to the total source/sink within the volume, can be estimated almost immediately after a flight. We have the expertise and experience to optimize the flight strategy, carry out the analysis and estimate the errors in the source/sink estimates. Since much of the analysis is automated, we can provide source estimates almost immediately after a flight.


Scientific Aviation operates four fixed-wing, single-engine Mooney aircraft that have been carefully configured for atmospheric research. Air inlets have been installed on the outboard section of the wing, well away from the exhaust and propeller induced turbulence. In addition to trace gas measurements, supporting measurements include wind speed and direction, temperature, humidity, 3-dimensional location and time. All aircraft are fully FAA certified. A normal flight crew consists of a pilot and a flight scientist.
Our quadcopter and hexacopter unmanned drone platforms are an ideal solution for near-field point source quantification and vertical measurements up to 400 ft. agl. Our drone-based emissions quantifications operate by the same principles and methods as employed on our manned aircraft. 
For ground-based studies, Scientific Aviation offers a fully-equipped and instrumented mobile laboratory.


At Scientific Aviation, we like to say that we have a “very particular set of skills.” Our company was founded by a scientist with a Ph.D. in atmospheric science and a passion for aviation and airborne research. We have since grown to employ several highly qualified and experienced Ph.D. scientists with backgrounds in atmospheric research of greenhouse gases, reactive gases, and aerosols, airborne measurements, analytical instrumentation design and construction, and computer programming. 

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Our Mission & Vision 

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