We present here an open-path analyser, initially intended for security applications, specifically for the detection of gas plumes from illicit improvised explosive device (IED) manufacturing. Subsequently, the analysers were adapted for methane measurement and used to investigate its applicability for leak detection in different scenarios (e.g. unconventional gas extraction sites). Preliminary results showed consistent measurements of gas plumes in the open path.
About the authors
Kenneth G. Hay, instrumentation scientist: After obtaining his M.Sci. in Laser Physics & Optoelectronics at the University of Strathclyde in 2006, Dr. Hay then remained at the University of Strathclyde to pursue his Ph.D. in gas sensing using QCLs. His Ph.D. research involved the development and testing of an IR intrapulse QCL spectrometer and its application to trace gas detection and nonlinear optics. This involved improving its control and data acquisition systems coupled with the design of analysis software to process the results obtained from a wide selection of field measurements.
Ola Norberg, Research Engineer at the Department for Weapons Effects and Security of Explosives: Norberg has 25 years of experience on software development (mainly embedded systems) and system design as well as project and line management. He has also worked actively with stand-off detection using Raman-based techniques.
Erwan Normand: Normand cofounded Cascade Technologies in January 2003 based on the IP he developed at the University of Strathclyde. He is author and coauthor of several patents and more than 20 papers and conference contributions. He has 14 years of experience in the application of QCLs.
Hans Önnerud, Deputy Research Director at the Department for Weapons Effects and Security of Explosives: Dr. Önnerud has 15 years of experience on spectroscopic and mass spectrometric techniques within the field of analytical chemistry. He is currently involved in several national and international projects on energetic materials and detection.
Paul Black, R&D Manager: Dr. Black began his engineering doctorate as part of an industrial placement at Cascade Technologies in 2004. He is now Cascade Technologies’ R&D Manager after having held the position of senior optical and algorithm development engineer. He has lead significant IP generation at Cascade Technologies, focussing on high-speed on-board analysis algorithms and innovative optical designs.
The authors thank the generous support from the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme (grant no. 261381 EMPHASIS). This work would not have been possible without the involvement and support of the Swedish Defence Research Agency.
Authors’ contribution: H.O. and E.N. designed the work. K.G.H., H.O., and O.N. performed the work. K.G.H., P.B., and E.N. analysed the data. K.G.H. wrote the paper.
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