Partnership Resource Projects

Gas Imager (QuantIC Phase 2 project) – M Squared Lasers and University of Glasgow

The ability to visualize gases has applications in industrial and environmental monitoring settings. Applications relevant to production and utility companies include pipeline monitoring and storage facility inspection. Real-time gas imaging can convey the direction of dispersal and location of a leak source, helping users to improve the safety and efficiency of response to hazardous events.

Phase 1 of this project investigated the feasibility of a new IR imaging technology – a Single-Pixel Camera (SPC), for detecting gas leaks. A prototype SPC was developed at Glasgow University which was based on structured illumination of laser light, tuned to a methane absorption band, and a single IR detector. The SPC successfully detected a small, real-time gas leak of 0.5 litres/min in a laboratory setting. A colour coded gas map overlaid onto a visible camera image helped the operator locate the source of the leak. The SPC offers the potential for a lower cost and more compact and portable gas detection system than currently available technology. Present limitations of the SPC include the distance over which gas can be detected, currently demonstrated at 1 metre, and sensitivity to a single type of gas, currently methane. Industry members from oil & gas, security & defence, agriculture and additive manufacturing have expressed interest in this technology.

This proposal will build on the success of Phase 1 and broaden the SPC’s applicability to a range of global markets by enabling the SPC to detect a wider range of gases over longer distances and in difficult and realistic environments. This will be achieved through the innovative use of high power wavelength scanning illumination sources and higher sensitivity longer wavelength detectors, along with reduced form factors and costs.

The project will be led by M Squared Lasers and supported by Professor Miles Padgett’s group at University of Glasgow and is closely aligned to work package 1 of QuantIC’s work programme – imaging with correlation.

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About M Squared Lasers
M Squared Lasers is a company, which explores, develops and manufactures next-generation lasers and photonic instruments. The core team has more than twenty years of experience in R&D and manufacturing with a track record of award-winning products and business success to show for it. They are already engaged in the gas sensing market. For more information, visit: www.m2lasers.com.