Development of a photo-acoustic trace gas sensor

Kelly, C. and Leis, J. and Buttsworth, D. (2011) Development of a photo-acoustic trace gas sensor. In: Australian Acoustical Society Conference (AAS 2011), Acoustics 2011: Breaking New Ground, 2-4 Nov 2011, Gold Coast, Australia.


The work presented in this paper addresses the problem of creating a low-cost, intrinsically safe, low-level gas sensor for mining and transportation applications. The system is to have no electrical connection to the remote sensor head, and as such relies on optical transmission via fibre. An integral component is the acoustically resonant chamber, which is excited by an appropriate laser excitation. The laser is modulated at the resonant frequency of the chamber to create a periodic heating and cooling, which translates into a periodic pressure wave. The pressure wave is amplified in the resonant chamber, and then measured using an optical microphone approach. This makes the sensor implicitly safe, as there are no electronics at the sensor head nor electrical connections required. A particular challenge associated with this approach is the acoustic signal generation and extraction from very high levels of noise. This paper gives a background on the photoacoustic method, and describes our approaches to the development of physical hardware and processing algorithms required for an embedded sensor.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Paper no. 139. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2012 07:53
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 04:28
Uncontrolled Keywords: photo-acoustics; acoustics; signal processing; physics
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0906 Electrical and Electronic Engineering > 090606 Photonics and Electro-Optical Engineering (excl. Communications)
09 Engineering > 0906 Electrical and Electronic Engineering > 090605 Photodetectors, Optical Sensors and Solar Cells
02 Physical Sciences > 0203 Classical Physics > 020301 Acoustics and Acoustical Devices; Waves
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering
B Economic Development > 84 Mineral Resources (excl. Energy Resources) > 8498 Environmentally Sustainable Mineral Resource Activities > 849801 Management of Gaseous Waste from Mineral Resource Activities (excl. Greenhouse Gases)
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970110 Expanding Knowledge in Technology

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