A Reliable Optical System for Natural Gas Pipeline Leak Detection
72927S03-I The safety and reliability of the nationÂ¿s natural gas infrastructure requires the rapid and efficient detection of pipeline leaks. Existing methods have the requisite sensitivity, but are too slow. What is needed is a rapid, remote sensing system, suitable for aircraft deployment, that can provide short term (hours to weeks) monitoring of potential trouble spots. This project will develop a two-tiered approach based on optical detection of natural gas. One instrument will be a fast-response, airborne remote sensing detector. The other is a compact, lightweight, and fully automated point sensor that can telemeter measurements using wireless communications. Phase I will: (1) build a laser light source, based on lasers used for fiber optic communications but with over ten times more power, that will be useful for remote sensing of pipeline leaks; (2) demonstrate the usefulness of the laser light source; and (3) construct a prototype, low-power instrument, suitable for continuous point measurements of potential trouble spots. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: An enhanced ability to detect natural gas pipeline leaks should increase the safety, stability, and reliability of the natural gas supply. Switching from oil to domestic natural gas reduces our dependence on foreign energy supplies.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Southwest Sciences, Inc.
1570 Pacheco Street Suite E-11 Santa Fe, NM 87505
Number of Employees: