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The Ability to Detect From a Distance


2 mins


Dr. Ram Hashmonay

published published

December 24, 2019


Knowledge BaseOptical Gas Imaging (OGI)

Observing this series of photos taken every 30 seconds by OPGAL’s OGI camera (EyeCGas 2.0), shows a significant volatile organic compounds emission (VOCs) event, including methane released into the air.

The gas flows through a cold pipe (the black flare structure), and its temperature evens out with the ambient air temperature upon release to the atmosphere. However, since all VOCs emit an electromagnetic thermal energy in specific spectral region, it can be seen against the cooler sky background using a thermal camera with the proper filter, transmitting thermal energy in the specific wavelength range. As long as gas concentration are high, we will see the cloud even when gas temperature is the same as the environmental temperature.

Standing 10 km away from the offshore rig, one cannot detect cold or hot gases and steam, unless they emit electromagnetic radiation matching the OGI camera’s spectrum. Therefore, the gas emissions in this video are most certainly a dense cloud of VOCs, mostly #methane (natural gas).

Bearing in mind that the camera’s sensitivity is reduced when observing from a 10 km distance, even more so against a vast backdrop of the horizon sky, and in a water-saturated atmosphere, it is safe to assume that tens-to-hundreds kilograms per hour of gas were released.

The white (hot) cloud of methane and other organic gases are well above the EyeCGas2.0‘s detection sensitivity, yet the cloud can be seen clearly, and against substantial odds mention above. This is a clear indication of the mass amounts of materials being released into the atmosphere.