Mining Publication: Optically Powered Remote Gas Monitor
Many mines rely on toxic gas sensors to help maintain a safe and healthy work environment. This report describes a prototype monitoring system developed by the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) that uses light to power and communicate with several remote toxic gas sensors. The design is based on state-of-the-art optical-to-electrical power converters, solid-state diode lasers, and fiber optics. This design overcomes several problems associated with conventional wire-based systems by providing complete electrical isolation between the remote sensors and the central monitor. The prototype performed well during a 2-week field trial in the USBM Pittsburgh Research Center Safety Research Coal Mine.