Airborne, Optical Remote Sensing of Methane and Ethane for Natural Gas Pipeline Leak Detection Semi-Annual Report: October 2002 - April 2003
Description: Ophir Corporation was awarded a contract by the U. S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory under the Project Title ''Airborne, Optical Remote Sensing of Methane and Ethane for Natural Gas Pipeline Leak Detection'' on October 14, 2002. This six-month technical report summarizes the progress for each of the proposed tasks, discusses project concerns, and outlines near-term goals. Ophir has completed a data survey of two major natural gas pipeline companies on the design requirements for an airborne, optical remote sensor. The results of this survey are disclosed in this report. A substantial amount of time was spent on modeling the expected optical signal at the receiver at different absorption wavelengths, and determining the impact of noise sources such as solar background, signal shot noise, and electronic noise on methane and ethane gas detection. Based upon the signal to noise modeling and industry input, Ophir finalized the design requirements for the airborne sensor, and released the critical sensor light source design requirements to qualified vendors. Responses from the vendors indicated that the light source was not commercially available, and will require a research and development effort to produce. Three vendors have responded positively with proposed design solutions. Ophir has decided to conduct short path optical laboratory experiments to verify the existence of methane and absorption at the specified wavelength, prior to proceeding with the light source selection. Techniques to eliminate common mode noise were also evaluated during the laboratory tests. Finally, Ophir has included a summary of the potential concerns for project success and has established future goals.
Date: May 13, 2003
Creator: Myers, Jerry
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