From a press release:
Within the natural gas industry, gas leak detection is one of the crucial tasks in order to operate safely and economically. The high demand for an easy and cost-efficient method to address this issue led Pergam to the development of the Laser Methane Copter (LMC).
The gas sensor isbased on a practice-proven handheld detector that is already widely used in the gas industry. An eye-safe laser with a filter in the bandwidth where methane has a high absorption along with an algorithm measures the gas emissions in parts per million multiplied by meter (ppm*m). With methane being the main component present in natural and other gases, methane detection is a reliable method for leak detection. An on-board data grabber records the flight path together with the gas concentration and stores it onboard. The leak data are available immediately after the flight in a standard format (XLS) to create a comprehensive report. This report can be used as proof of inspection and to indicate areas with high emissions / leaks.
Due to its 600 gram weight, a battery life exceeding five hours coupled with an independent operating system, the sensor can be easily integrated in a wide range of UAVs. At a later stage, a ready-to-go package including UAV will be available. From production, processing through transport and distribution, an impressive number of applications can be realized with the utilization of this sensor. Landfill emission monitoring as well as surveys in difficult to access areas that previously required scaffolding are further examples of usage.
International research institutes have successfully tested the solution in the forefront. The first orders will be delivered at the end of July 2015. A limited number of loaner units are available for test and integration purposes.
Pergam is a multinational corporation with core competencies in remote gas detection and a wide range of nondestructive testing methods (NDT). The headquarters are in Switzerland. A sales and support office in Seattle, WA is dedicated to the needs of the North American market. Pergam provides cutting edge products and inspection services to the natural gas industry. With its unique and patented ALMA and SELMA systems, Pergam is a pioneer in laser based gas leak detection.