Low-cost imaging system detects natural gas leaks in real time

Researchers developed a new infrared imaging system that could one day offer low-cost, real-time detection of methane gas leaks. The top row shows movie frames from a low-resolution (16×16) computational image of a gas leak, overlaid onto a high-resolution color image from a CMOS camera. Only the methane gas is detected (red), when 0.2 liters per minute of methane are delivered via the green tube and 2 liters per minute of nitrogen are delivered from the red tube. The bottom row shows movie frames where a methane gas sample cell is moved by hand across the field-of-view. Credit: Graham M. Gibson, University of Glasgow

Online  —  Researchers have developed an infrared imaging system that could one day offer low-cost, real-time detection of methane gas leaks in pipelines and at oil and gas facilities.

Leaks of methane, the primary component of natural gas, can be costly and dangerous while also contributing to climate change as a greenhouse gas.

“Despite being invisible to the eye, we have developed a method of color-coding this gas information and overlaying it onto a conventional camera image,” said Dr. Graham M. Gibson from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, who led the technical work.

“This allows the user operating the camera to look around, identify things and see an overlay of where the gas is present.”

Gibson, along with the rest of the research team, worked with M Squared to develop the real-time infrared .

In The Optical Society journal Optics Express, the researchers show that the system can acquire videos of methane gas leaking from a tube at about 0.2 liters per minute.

The technology could also be expanded to other wavelengths or ranges of wavelengths, allowing the detection of a host of gases and chemicals.

Read the whole story at: https://phys.org/news/2017-02-low-cost-imaging-natural-gas-leaks.html#jCp

More information: G.M. Gibson, B. Sun, M.P. Edgar, D.B. Phillips, N. Hempler, G.T. Maker, G.P. Malcolm, M.J. Padgett, “Real-time imaging of methane gas leaks using a single-pixel camera,” Opt. Express, Vol. 25, Issue 4, 2998-3005 (2017). DOI: 10.1364/OE.25.002998 , https://www.osapublishing.org/oe/abstract.cfm?uri=oe-25-4-2998

Journal reference: Optics Express

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