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Proceedings Paper

Standoff gas leak detectors based on tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy
Author(s): M. B. Frish; R. T. Wainner; B. D. Green; M. C. Laderer; M. G. Allen
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Paper 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.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 November 2005
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6010, Infrared to Terahertz Technologies for Health and the Environment, 60100D (17 November 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.630599
Show Author Affiliations
M. B. Frish, Physical Sciences Inc. (United States)
R. T. Wainner, Physical Sciences Inc. (United States)
B. D. Green, Physical Sciences Inc. (United States)
M. C. Laderer, Physical Sciences Inc. (United States)
M. G. Allen, Physical Sciences Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6010:
Infrared to Terahertz Technologies for Health and the Environment
Alexey A. Belyanin; Rebekah A. Drezek; Claire F. Gmachl, Editor(s)

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