Measuring N2O fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems including arable farm land mostly relies on labor intensive chamber sampling and lab based N2O concentration determination. With the objective to increase sampling frequency and analytical precision of N2O field measurements, but at the same time decrease labor costs, a field robot capable of autonomous navigation via GPS was developed. It is equipped with a gas sampling system including a laser spectrometer from quantitative N2O and CO2 analysis.
During the last months especially the software of the robot was improved, which lead to clearly better autonomous navigation, but also included improved graphical user interfaces. The work on improving the data management and on sampling chamber wind shielding is still ongoing. During spring 2015 the field robot was tested for a several weeks in a field trial at NMBU with promising first results. Currently (May 2015) the robot is tested in field trials at University of Gothenburg (UGOT). Here, the robot is used in a field trial to determine spatial variability in individual field plots. Furthermore, comparisons against automatic chambers as well as Eddy Covariance systems are performed.
During the field tests at UGOT the field robot was also presented to the participants of the emissions workshop (10. – 13. May 2015), with was organized by Project 7 members as a NORA outreach event. This workshop attracted 62 participants from 13 European countries as well as from the US.