Mining Publication: Remote Fiber-Optic Methane Monitor
Fiber-optic technology is progressing rapidly, including the development of fiber-optic sensors for many applications. These sensors have the advantages of high sensitivity, light weight, small size, high bandwidth, and freedom from electromagnetic influences. The U.S. Bureau of Mines is investigating the use of fiber-optic technology to monitor mine atmospheres. This report describes a methane monitor based on differential absorption of infrared light. The monitor can detect methane concentrations as low as 0.2 Vol pct as far away as 2 km via fiber-optic cable. The upper range is 100 vol pct methane. Since the system requires no electrical power within the mine, it is intrinsically safe.