Heath Consultants Incorporated Utilizes Advanced Research Small Unmanned Aerial Sensor Technology for Emergency Gas Leak Response Following Hurricane Harvey

RMLD-UAV inspects underground gas lines for leakage in inaccessible areas due to storm damage.

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Heath Consultants Incorporated (Heath) and Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI), demonstrated the usefulness of drone-mounted laser-based leak detection technology for emergency response. The Remote Methane Leak Detector Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (RMLD-UAV) was deployed to inspect underground gas lines around Beaumont and Port Aransas, Texas for major leakage of areas which were inaccessible to vehicles and unsafe for walking due to down utility lines, flood water, hazardous debris such as fallen trees, fences and metal roofing. The operation illustrates the benefits of drones in situations when typical land surveys are not possible.

The RMLD-UAV integrates Heath’s industry-leading, laser-based, Remote Methane Leak Detector (RMLD®) with PSI’s two-foot-wide quadrotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle featuring highly advanced autonomy and all-weather operation. This technology combination can 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-UAV measures methane by sending an infrared laser light beam downwards from the vehicle and detecting some of the laser light which is reflected 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.

Development and evaluation of RMLD-UAV is sponsored by the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA-e).

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: http://heathus.com.

ABOUT PHYSICAL SCIENCES INC.

Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) provides contract…

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