Interband cascade laser from Maxion detects petroleum pipeline leaks

May 12, 2012
Andover, MA--Physical Sciences developed an instrument to detect liquid petroleum product leaks from buried pipelines using Fuelfinder, with interband cascade laser technology from Maxion.

Andover, MA--With support from the U.S. Department of Transportation and a consortium of industrial users, Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) is expanding its Remote Methane Leak Detector (RMLD) platform for detecting liquid petroleum product leaks from buried pipelines using Fuelfinder. Able to detect gasoline constituent vapors 10 ppm, Fuelfinder uses interband cascade laser (ICL) technology developed by PSI's subsidiary company Maxion Technologies (College Park, MD). These ICLs operate at room temperature and interrogate hydrocarbon vapors in the mid-infrared signature spectral region near 3.4 microns. PSI plans both handheld and airborne configurations, and field demonstrations in partnership with its industrial user consortium are planned for later this summer.

Produced by Heath Consultants Inc. (Houston, TX) under license to PSI, the RMLD handheld version detects small leaks at distances up to 100 feet from the surveyor, and is used for routine walking surveys of gas distribution pipelines. The airborne RMLD surveys transmission pipelines from light single engine fixed- and rotary-winged aircraft flying up to 1200 feet above ground. Introduced in 2005, PSI says that more than 1500 low-cost, battery powered RMLD units are in use worldwide.

SOURCE: Physical Sciences Inc.;

IMAGE: A handheld sensor that uses interband cascade laser (ICL) technology from Maxion is being marketed by Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) for remote detection of petroleum pipeline leaks. (Courtesy PSI)

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