Heath Consultants Inc., in collaboration with Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI), Thorlabs, Princeton University and the University of Houston, has been selected by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop and demonstrate a methane-monitoring drone.
Heath's Remote Methane Leak Detector (RMLD) Sentry system can continuously monitor, locate and quantify volumetric leak rates of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from natural gas production sites.
To reliably detect and measure methane leakage at a low cost, a fully autonomous system combines the following: a miniaturized version of the laser-based RMLD; the InstantEye miniature quadcopter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with self-directed flight patterns; mid-infrared lasers; and advanced wind and plume models.
The three-year program will test prototype units at selected field sites. The RMLD Sentry system is intended for widespread deployment to facilitate reducing the environmental impact and cost of natural gas leakage.
Heath Consultants Inc. has been providing natural gas-detection technologies and services since 1933. PSI provides contract research and development services in a wide diversity of technical areas to both government and commercial customers.