A Diode Laser Multigas Analyzer for Advanced Detection of Fires

Period of Performance: 01/01/1997 - 12/31/1997


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Southwest Sciences, Inc.
1570 Pacheco Street Suite E-11
Santa Fe, NM 87505
Principal Investigator


Southwest Sciences will develop a novel fire detection technology based on optical spectroscopy, using diode lasers and fiber optics. Rapid, quantitative detection of part per million concentrations (or better) of multiple gases, including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen chloride, and a fiber optical distribution network permits one laser to be used for at least 800 different measurement locations up to a mile from the laser. This approach provides information on the type and location of the fire, while the simultaneous measurement of multiple gases greatly reduces the chances of false alarms. The instrument is self-calibrating and self-checking to reduce long term maintenance costs. The technology uses miniature, solid-state diode lasers originally developed for the communications industry. These lasers are rugged, reliable, require little power, and the use of fiber optics guarantees eye safety. The Phase I effort will test three multiplexing schemes for simultaneous (or near-simultaneous) measurements of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.