FLying ultrA-broadband single-shot Infra-Red sensor (FLAIR)

FLAIR Consortium:

The innovative nature of the approach proposed in FLAIR comes from the novel design of an advanced optical spectroscopy device based on the integration of sub-systems establishing a new state-of-the-art in their respective fields. The challenges related to the development of such an integrated device will be answered by bringing together a strong and interdisciplinary consortium. 

The FLAIR consortium involves partners from 6 European countries (Denmark, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland) fulfilling the minimum requirement of involving three different countries in an H2020 collaborative project.

Concept of the FLAIR project:

A high-performance air sampling sensor based on cutting-edge photonic technology is mounted on an UAV (drone) for pervasive and large area coverage high-specificity and high-sensitivity (ppbv) air quality sensing. Operating in the two atmospheric windows of 2-5 μm and 8-12 μm wavelength, FLAIR can detect minute traces of molecules in complex gas mixtures from their characteristic IR absorption fingerprints and provide real time information to the operator. FLAIR can operate in remote or dangerous areas and outside of established monitoring networks. FLAIR contributes to a safer environment by providing detailed air quality data e.g. around industrial infrastructure, highways and ships or in case of catastrophic events like wildfires, volcanic eruption or chemical accidents. The UAV represented in this figure is a modified version of the AR3 NET RAY model4 (from the consortium partner TEKEVER) which is will be used in FLAIR.

Importantly, the UAV can rapidly access areas that are too dangerous or too difficult to reach by humans. Moreover, due to the local sampling FLAIR can provide data from inside optically dense clouds and plumes that are not accessible for ground based laser remote sensing methods such as light detection and ranging (LIDAR) or differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS). The UAV based approach of FLAIRconstitutes a cost- effective (particularly when compared to the usually used manned research aircrafts) means of rapid, large-scale air-quality sampling with high mobility. Hence, FLAIR also lends itself to complex task such as solving the inversion problem for locating unknown pollution sources (e.g. leakage) from remote plume sensing. Overall, FLAIR aims at providing crucial data to emergency response forces and help coordinating counter measures in case of catastrophic events.

Main tasks of DTU in FLAIR:

Development of the long-wavelength 8-12µm mid-IR supercontinuum (SC) source with an optimized spectral power in the working range and a minimal footprint and power consumption. This will include both direct diode modulated pump laser development and in-house chalcogenide mid-IR step- index fiber design and fabrication, as well using their R&D agreement with Selenoptics in France to develop optimized chalcogenide photonic crystal fibres. DTU will also be in charge of SC and nonlinear fibre modelling, as well as mid-IR fibre dispersion measurements to assist NKT’s development of the 2- 5µm source.

Read more here.


Ole Bang
Professor, Group Leader
DTU Fotonik
+45 45 25 63 73


Getinet Woyessa
DTU Fotonik
+45 45 25 57 35