17 November 2005 Standoff gas leak detectors based on tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy
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Abstract
Trace gas sensing and analysis by Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy (TDLAS) has become a robust and reliable technology accepted for industrial process monitoring and control, quality assurance, environmental sensing, plant safety, and infrastructure security. Sensors incorporating well-packaged wavelength-stabilized near-infrared (1.2 to 2.0 μm) laser sources sense over a dozen toxic or industrially-important gases. A large emerging application for TDLAS is standoff sensing of gas leaks, e.g. from natural gas pipelines. The Remote Methane Leak Detector (RMLD), a handheld standoff TDLAS leak survey tool that we developed, is replacing traditional leak detection tools that must be physically immersed within a leak to detect it. Employing a 10 mW 1.6 micron DFB laser, the RMLD illuminates a non-cooperative topographic surface, up to 30 m distant, and analyzes returned scattered light to deduce the presence of excess methane. The eye-safe, battery-powered, 6-pound handheld RMLD enhances walking pipeline survey rates by more than 30%. When combined with a spinning or rastering mirror, the RMLD serves as a platform for mobile leak mapping systems. Also, to enable high-altitude surveying and provide aerial disaster response, we are extending the standoff range to 3000 m by adding an EDFA to the laser transmitter.
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M. B. Frish, M. B. Frish, R. T. Wainner, R. T. Wainner, B. D. Green, B. D. Green, M. C. Laderer, M. C. Laderer, M. G. Allen, M. G. Allen, } "Standoff gas leak detectors based on tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy", Proc. SPIE 6010, Infrared to Terahertz Technologies for Health and the Environment, 60100D (17 November 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.630599; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.630599
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