Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

Degree Level



Civil Engineering


Coffman, Richard

Committee Member/Reader

Coffman, Richard

Committee Member/Second Reader

Huang, Po-Hao Adam


A ground-based aerial-tracking instrument, known as the Ground Tracker, designed to provide spectral data to quantify greenhouse gases is under development. The Ground Tracker includes an Optical System including a high power rifle scope, video camera, and spectrometer used to locate an active light source from the Emitter, and collect spectral data by utilizing an actuating mirror. The implementation of this instrument could be made low cost by utilizing existing weather balloon infrastructure to allow the Emitter to be placed into the lower stratosphere. The recovery of the emitter will be possible by tracking the GPS coordinates. Weather balloon instrument packages contain shipping instructions and postage for those packages that go beyond GPS range or are lost. The Ground Tracker and Emitter Gimbal, while not ready for implementation, demonstrate the feasibility of a spectroscopy system that could provide important data for climate observation and modeling at temporal and spatial resolutions not currently available to state-of-the-art satellites.


Spectroscopy, Atmospheric monitoring, Open Path, Low Cost, Ground Based, Remote Sensing