Monitoring Fugitive Methane Emissions Utilizing Advanced Small Unmanned Aerial Sensor Technology Currently Under Development Through ARPA-E

Heath Consultants Incorporated (Heath) in collaboration with Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI), is adapting the industry-leading laser-based Remote Methane Leak Detector (RMLD®) for mounting on the InstantEye® quadrotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. This technology combination, known as the RMLD® Sentry, will implement self-directed flight patterns to continuously monitor, locate, and quantify volumetric leak rates of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from natural gas production sites.

HOUSTON, March 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Heath Consultants Incorporated (Heath) in collaboration with Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI), is adapting the industry-leading laser-based Remote Methane Leak Detector (RMLD®) for mounting on the InstantEye®, PSI's two-foot-wide quadrotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle featuring highly advanced autonomy and all-weather operation. This technology combination, known as the RMLD® Sentry, will implement self-directed flight patterns to continuously monitor, locate, and quantify volumetric leak rates of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from natural gas production sites.


The RMLD Sentry measures methane by sending an infrared laser light beam downwards from the vehicle and detecting some of the laser light reflected back from the ground. It relies on attenuation of the laser beam by the methane in the laser path at certain wavelengths, as compared to little attenuation at other wavelengths. By flying circular patterns around a methane leak, the RMLD Sentry is able to deduce the leak rate and home-in on the leak location.

Development and evaluation of RMLD Sentry is sponsored by the US Department of Energy's Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA-e). The three-year ARPA-E program will test prototype units at selected field sites.

ABOUT HEATH CONSULTANTS INCORPORATED

Since 1933 Heath Consultants Incorporated has been the leader in natural gas detection technologies and services. Heath partners with well-recognized research and development organizations as well as industry trade associations to provide state-of-the-art products and services to various utility markets including products specifically designed to detect greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and services for environmental safety. For more information, please visit: www.heathus.com.

ABOUT PHYSICAL SCIENCES INC.

Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) provides contract research and development services in a wide diversity of technical areas to both government and commercial customers. PSI's interests span basic research to technology development, with an emphasis on applied research. PSI develops advanced technologies for aerospace, chemical, defense, energy, environmental, manufacturing and medical applications. Core technologies have been developed with more than $500 million of federal and industrial funding over three and a half decades of operations, a period in which PSI has acquired an international reputation for technical excellence and innovation. For more information, please visit: http://www.psicorp.com.

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