Natural gas pipeline leakage poses safety hazards, contributes to greenhouse gas loads, and costs customers the price of lost gas. The principal purpose of developing rapid and remote leak rate measurement techniques is to rank leaks based not only on the current practice of measuring local concentration (which can be very high for a small leak in a no wind condition), but also on measuring leak rate. No current leak survey tool directly images gas leak plumes quantitatively, much less quantifies emission rate, a technology gap that this sensor development addresses. The technology under development, which we call “RMLD-QGI” (Quantitative Gas Imager), combines low-cost laser scanner, visible camera, and near-IR tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy (TDLAS) gas detection to answer this need.
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