Handheld Real Time (RT) Climatic/Environmental Sensor
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
This project will develop an automated handheld/portable optical measurement system for determining the opacity of nearby smoke plumes. It will provide a real time ascertainment of EPA clean air act requirements at DoD installations within the CONUS. It will be usable by minimally trained personnel and can be used from any angle except directly into the sun. Unlike traditional human observations, because it contains a self-contained eye safe laser source, the system can be used day or night and it can be automated. Today, significant funds are spent training human "smoke observers" to perform EPA Method 9 observations at DoD installations. This process is fraught with simple human error as well as psychological disincentives ranging from tedium to guilt from penalizing the contracting organization and potentially forcing an inconvenient shutdown of a base''s steam heating plant to non-compliance. The system consists of a small eye safe lidar and digital camera, and a portable lidar and image processing computer. It is man-portable and can run from battery power. Measurements can either be made continuously, at specific times throughout a work day, or via a scanner at pre-determined geographical coordinates/angles providing observations of multiple nearby plumes. BENEFIT: Automated opacity systems will effectively take the human out of the loop, allowing personnel to be deployed in more value added tasks. Removal of subjectivity from the manual observations will eliminate personal bias. The devices will also enable the creation of a permanent digital record of an industrial site''s point source air pollution. Increasing the frequency of such environmental opacity measurements will go a long way to both reducing operational training cost for smoke observers, as well as improve the trust between EPA and every agency it is charged with regulating.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Mark C. Beaubien
Yankee Environmental Systems, Inc.
101 Industrial Blvd. Turners Falls, MA 01376
Number of Employees: