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RealSens™: An Advanced Passive Airborne Natural Gas Leak Detection Technology

[+] Author Affiliations
Adrian Banica, Chris K. Sheard, Boyd T. Tolton

Synodon Inc., Edmonton, AB, Canada

Paper No. IPC2006-10019, pp. 671-675; 5 pages
  • 2006 International Pipeline Conference
  • Volume 3: Materials and Joining; Pipeline Automation and Measurement; Risk and Reliability, Parts A and B
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada, September 25–29, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Pipeline Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4263-0
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


Detecting natural gas leaks from the worlds nearly 5 million kilometers of underground pipelines is a difficult and costly challenge. Existing technologies are limited to ground deployment and have a number of limitations such as slow response, false leak readings and high costs. Various remote sensing solutions have been proposed in the past and a few are currently being developed. This paper starts by describing the remote sensing concept and then will focus on a new technology developed by Synodon scientists. This airborne instrument is a passive Gas Filter Correlation Radiometer (GFCR) that is tuned to measure ethane in the 3.3 microns near-infrared band. With its target natural gas column sensitivity of 50 μm, the instrument is capable of detecting very small leaks in the range of 5–10 cuft/hr in winds that exceed 6 miles/hr. The paper concludes with a description of the service which Synodon will be offering to the transmission and distribution pipeline operators using the new technology.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME
Topics: Natural gas , Leakage



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