A Reliable Optical System for Natural Gas Pipeline Leak Detection

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-03ER83782
Agency Tracking Number: 72927S03-I
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
1570 Pacheco Street, Suite E-11, Santa Fe, NM, 87505
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David Bomse
 (505) 984-1322
Business Contact
 Alan Stanton
Phone: (505) 984-1322
Email: astanton@swsciences.com
Research Institution
72927S03-I The safety and reliability of the nation¿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.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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