Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Modelling and interpretation of gas detection using remote laser pointers.

By Jane Hodgkinson, Ben van Well, Miles Padgett and Russ D. Pride


We have developed a quantitative model of the performance of laser pointer style gas leak detectors, which are based on remote detection of backscattered radiation. The model incorporates instrumental noise limits, the reflectivity of the target background surface and a mathematical description of gas leak dispersion in constant wind speed and turbulence conditions. We have investigated optimum instrument performance and limits of detection in simulated leak detection situations. We predict that the optimum height for instruments is at eye level or above, giving an operating range of 10 m or more for most background surfaces, in wind speeds of up to 2.5 m s−1. For ground based leak sources, we find laser pointer measurements are dominated by gas concentrations over a short distance close to the target surface, making their readings intuitive to end users in most cases. This finding is consistent with the results of field trials

Topics: Gas, Methane, Leak, Detection, Dispersion
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2006
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.saa.2005.11.017
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Cranfield CERES

Suggested articles


  1. (2005). A 7, doi
  2. (2002). APPENDIX A. Derivation of reflectivity equation Iseki et al used the following equation in their model:
  3. (2005). m reported gas UK escapes in 2001, over 259,000 were outside reports, of which around 25% resulted in 'no gas found'. NGT website,,
  4. (2001). Physical principles of remote sensing, 2 nd ed., doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.