Active Stand-off Detection of Gas Leaks Using a Short Range Hard-target Backscatter Differential Optical Absorption System Based on a Quantum Cascade Laser Transmitter
1 NOAA-CREST, City College of New York, New York, NY, 10031, United States
2 Brookhaven National Lab., New York, NY, 11973, United States
Published online: 7 June 2016
Fugitive gas emissions from agricultural or industrial plants and gas pipelines are an important environmental concern as they can contribute to the global increase of greenhouse gas concentration. Moreover, they are also a security and safety concern because of possible risk of fire/explosion or toxicity. This study presents gas concentration measurements using a quantum cascade laser open path system (QCLOPS). The system retrieves the pathaveraged concentration of N2O and CH4 by collecting the backscattered light from a scattering target. The gas concentration measurements have a high temporal resolution (68 ms) and are achieved at sufficient range (up to 40 m, ~ 130 feet) with a detection limit of 2.6 ppm CH4 and 0.4 ppm for N2O. Given these characteristics, this system is promising for mobile/multidirectional remote detection and evaluation of gas leaks. The instrument is monostatic with a tunable QCL emitting at ~ 7.7 μm wavelength range. The backscattered radiation is collected by a Newtonian telescope and focused on an infrared light detector. Puffs of N2O and CH4 are released along the optical path to simulate a gas leak. The measured absorption spectrum is obtained using the thermal intra-pulse frequency chirped DFB QCL and is analyzed to obtain path averaged gas concentrations.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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