Opto-Knowledge In Situ Methane Sensor

The Technology

A new Methane Sensor Package can determine both the concentration and the carbon isotope ratio of methane while operating in situ and at depth.

The technology combines a novel laser absorption spectroscopy gas sensor with a membrane-free approach to water sampling. This approach provides significantly more data at a lower cost compared to the traditional analysis of returned samples.

Traditional measurement approaches involve collecting a limited number of samples, which are initially processed onboard ships, and then later analyzed in a shore-based laboratory through a time-consuming and labor-intensive process.

Opto-Knowledge offers an in situ, real-time methane sensing capability that facilitates:

  1. Finding methane seep and hydrothermal vent sites
  2. Understanding the fate of methane in the water column
  3. Quantifying the extent of microbial activity in vent systems
  4. Tracking methane production and fractionation in real-time

Opto-Knowledge Systems, Inc. was founded in 1991 and specializes in developing turn-key sensors for challenging environments. 

Photo of two men working with an ocean monitoring device on a ship deck
An Opto-Knowledge Methane Sensor Package being readied for deployment. Credit: Opto-Knowledge


  • Inexpensive: Eliminates the need for lengthy and labor-intensive analysis
  • Efficient: Quickly analyze, identify, and communicate data results
  • Versatile Highly-customizable solutions


  • Identify, quantify, and attribute greenhouse gases
  • Next-generation flight vehicles and rocket engines
  • Field sensors to monitor climate change


Company Contact

This technology is commercially available for purchase. For additional information please contact the Opto-Knowledge team at jason.Kriesel@optoknowledge.com. Note: Any reference obtained from this website to a specific company, product, process, or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement by NOAA.

Federal Procurement – Sole Source Information

Through the SBIR/STTR Congressional Authority and Policy Directive, companies are eligible for Phase III sole-source contracts to support work that derives from, extends, or completes work funded with SBIR Phase I or Phase II awards. Technologies in the Marketplace that include this statement are eligible for Phase III awards from any federal agency. For more information about Phase III, see this website and reach out to noaa.sbir@noaa.gov with questions. Find a full list of available SBIR/STTR technologies, access the Award Database on SBIR.gov.