Ocean Optics Spectrometers Enable Field Application

STS spectrometers measure vegetation from the ground and the air

A pair of super-lightweight miniature spectrometers from Ocean Optics is helping researchers investigate plant parameters in a verdant patch of New Zealand grassland. The compact STS model spectrometers, one deployed as a ground unit and the other aboard an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), are making synchronised hyperspectral measurements of barley and sugar beet crops to assess plant characteristics for more effective crop management.

Ocean Optics Spectrometers Enable Field Application

Ocean Optics Spectrometers Enable Field Application

A multinational team of researchers from Germany, Italy, Spain and New Zealand developed the UAV-based system and conducted the initial experiments, gathering high-resolution reflectance spectra from the UAV at altitudes of up to 200 meters and irradiance spectra from the ground-based spectrometer. According to team leader Andreas Burkart of the Research Center Jülich IBG-2 Plant Sciences, Germany, collection of hyperspectral data by field spectroscopy is a time-consuming task and often is restricted to easily accessible areas.

The small size and weight of the STS spectrometer is ideal for use on the UAV, which allows a series of fast and reproducible measurements over any terrain, even forest or marsh. By measuring various segments across a section of the New Zealand pastureland, the system was able to assess information such as specific plots that contained live vegetation.

The STS is a remarkably small CMOS detector-based spectrometer that is less than 2 inches square (40 mm x 42 mm) and weighs a little over 2 ounces (68 g). It performs comparably to larger systems, providing full spectral analysis with low stray light, high signal to noise (>1500:1) and excellent optical resolution. For the application described here, the researchers were able to match the performance of the STS to that of a larger, more expensive commercially available field portable spectrometer, with optical resolution of ~2.5 nm (FWHM).

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HWM adds new Alarm Response and Remote Access Features to Wireless Dataloggers

HWM has recently introduced innovative improvements to its MultiLog and LX telemetry data loggers that offer new benefits to users, particularly with regard to remote maintenance, programming and alarm response. Once installed, the devices do not need to be physically accessed again for up to 5 years, but can still have settings changed and software updated through their integrated telemetry.

HWM adds new Alarm Response and Remote Access Features to Wireless Dataloggers

HWM adds new Alarm Response and Remote Access Features to Wireless Dataloggers

The two-way communication feature enables customers to update and upgrade their dataloggers remotely. This removes the requirement for expensive and time consuming site visits, and effectively makes the loggers “future proof” by ensuring that customers receive the immediate benefit of any new functionality.

In addition to remote upgrading, users can now reprogram the settings on their HWM loggers from any internet enabled device, again removing the need to physically extract the logger from the ground to do so. Alarm trigger points and reporting intervals can now be changed from the comfort of the home or office, which enables the user to always have the most appropriate settings without spending time or money visiting the installation.

HWM has also introduced an innovative accelerated dial-in feature that responds to an alarm condition. When an alarm is triggered, the logger automatically begins to transmit data more frequently to enable a more detailed analysis of the situation. Alerts can be sent to up 16 specified telephone numbers, which enables prompt and effective action to be taken. This intelligent alarm response can be particularly useful when, for example, the logger is connected to a SonicSens ultrasonic level measurement device over an open channel or sewer overflow. As levels rise above the alarm threshold, the increased data transmission rate will assist the response team in monitoring the rate of increase and potential flood risk during the incident. When the level falls below the alarm trigger threshold, the logger automatically returns to its normal dial-in parameters, as set by the user.

HWM data loggers already play an important role in monitoring the environment and identifying wastage in order to minimise negative environmental impact. By enabling users to upgrade firmware and change settings “over the air” instead of having to drive to the site, and by providing accelerated monitoring in response to alarms, the equipment is now more environmentally friendly than ever before.

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HWM and Radio-Tech Merger Offers Greater Choice for Energy Management Customers

Following the merger of Radio-Tech with HWM last year, the highly respected and popular Economise range of wireless energy management equipment has been further strengthened with the integration of HWM’s market leading range of SMS and GPRS Data Loggers. The company’s offering to the energy management market is well suited to all types of project, providing new and continuing customers with a ‘one-stop-shop’ for their remote monitoring requirements.

HWM and Radio-Tech Merger Offers Greater Choice for Energy Management Customers

HWM and Radio-Tech Merger Offers Greater Choice for Energy Management Customers

Radio-Tech is already established as the Technology Partner of Choice for many of the UK and Europe’s leading data collection and carbon management service providers. This new enhancement to the Economise range will now enable Radio-Tech and its partners to offer an innovative, cost-effective and robust battery-powered data logging option for single point monitoring applications that compliments the existing fixed-network systems.

Radio-Tech’s RF based products are fully approved in the UK and Europe and are available on 434MHz, 869MHz, 153MHz (UK Only) and 169MHz ERMES band for many European countries.

Rob Fish, Managing Director of HWM, said: “It’s great to have the Radio-Tech operation here now, and we think we can really build on the existing technology, products and markets they’ve developed. Our expertise in the production and design of long-lasting, reliable and precise monitoring and data management systems is already helping us to develop the full potential of wireless environmental and energy monitoring.”

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Ocean Optics Spectrometers Land Safely on Mars

Three Ocean Optics (www.OceanOptics.com) instruments have completed their eight month journey to Mars to study soil composition as part of the ChemCam mission. NASA’s Mars Science Lab rover, Curiosity, was launched last November carrying customized Ocean Optics HR2000 spectrometers.

Spectrometers from Ocean Optics will enable rapid sample analysis on Mars

Spectrometers from Ocean Optics will enable rapid sample analysis on Mars

(Caption:  Spectrometers from Ocean Optics will enable rapid sample analysis on Mars)

The Curiosity Rover has the most advanced scientific instrumentation ever used to study the surface of Mars, and weighing in at 1 ton, has the heaviest payload. The 7 minute descent through Mars’ atmosphere relied on a complex landing sequence never before attempted. To withstand the rigors of space travel and descent, the onboard Ocean Optics spectrometers were modified to handle extreme temperature ranges, radiation, shock and vibration.

After 14 tense minutes of waiting (the amount of time it takes for a signal to reach NASA’s mission control from Mars), NASA was able to confirm that Curiosity survived the descent intact. Shortly after, it beamed back the first pictures from the surface of the Gale Crater where it landed. Now, the work begins for the Ocean Optics spectrometers as the rover journeys to Mount Sharp, a 3 mile high mountain inside the crater, collecting data as it goes.

The three modular HR2000 high-resolution miniature fibre optic spectrometers will study Martian rock and soil composition using Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS). Each ChemCam spectrometer is configured to detect elemental signatures over a different wavelength of light: 240-336 nm, 380-470 nm, and 470-850 nm. The use of the three spectrometers simplifies the design and creates redundancy, as many elements under study have spectral lines in more than one of the spectral ranges covered by the three units.

Ocean Optics equipment has been used by NASA researchers for missions both on Earth and in space. A custom Ocean Optics spectrometer named ALICE was instrumental in detecting the presence of water ice on the moon during the LCROSS mission. The company’s modular Jaz spectrometer scaled Mt. Everest with a team that included NASA astronaut Scott Parazynski to measure solar irradiance at extreme altitude.

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SMART Log Helping Fight Leaks for British Water Utility

A major project to fight leakage by British utility company Yorkshire Water is using HWM’s Radio-Tech SMART Log wireless datalogging automatic meter reader (AMR) to significantly reduce the time and cost taken to find and fix leaks in the network. The SMART Logs are being installed by Vernon Morris & Co. Ltd. along with its Incertameter ‘bolt-on’ in-line flow meter, enabling Yorkshire Water to split 250 of its existing DMAs* in half for more efficient water management – without the need for constructing any new, expensive metered bypasses. The initial phase includes 350 installations, with more planned to follow as the project rolls out across the network.

Halma Water Management's RAdio-Tech SMART Log Helping Fight Leaks for British Water Utility

Halma Water Management's RAdio-Tech SMART Log Helping Fight Leaks for British Water Utility

Dividing a water mains network into DMAs is current water loss prevention best practice. It allows water companies to examine their network in small pieces, narrowing down areas where water is being lost so that leakage teams can then pinpoint the location within that DMA. Obviously, smaller DMAs result in more detailed initial information, and proportionally less time taken to identify the exact position of the leak; in these cases time equals not only money but also water, personnel and the chances of a severe service disruption.

SMART Log and Incertameter allow for the easy and very cost-effective creation of more and smaller DMAs, and very rapid collection of data from them. SMART Log’s wireless technology means that data collection teams no longer need access to the meter itself, but instead can download the data via a secure wireless link from up to 100 meters away – even from a moving vehicle. This drastically reduces the time taken for data gathering, which, in addition to the use of smaller DMAs, results in impressive savings.

A major project to fight leakage by British utility company Yorkshire Water is using HWM’s Radio-Tech SMART Log wireless datalogging automatic meter reader (AMR) to significantly reduce the time and cost taken to find and fix leaks in the network

A major project to fight leakage by British utility company Yorkshire Water is using HWM’s Radio-Tech SMART Log wireless datalogging automatic meter reader (AMR) to significantly reduce the time and cost taken to find and fix leaks in the network

In a series of blind pilot trials conducted last year to compare the before and after effects of the project, results indicated an average saving per leak of roughly 60 hours of detection time and over £1500, even without factoring in the initial saving of £5000+ per sub-metering point created. Leakage inspectors can expect to cover a DMA approximately five times faster than before, and prioritise their leak repair activities much more effectively according to the severity of a leak and its impact on the water supply.

Advanced technology not only enables this level of functional efficiency, but has resulted in an impressive battery life for the systems. Batteries last for 5 years with a 5 minute sample rate, meaning that the time and cost savings first made at the installation continue on for half a decade. The SMART Log technology has already seen extended use in Scotland and England over the last few years, both in conjunction with the Incertameter and as a standalone AMR or commercial datalogger, and has consistently proved itself a valuable tool in improving a project’s operational functionality and underlying efficiency.

*District Metered Area

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Ocean Optics Spectrometers Head to Mars

ChemCam instrument launches on Curiosity Rover to study rock and soil composition of the red planet

Three Ocean Optics (www.OceanOptics.com) instruments have begun their eight month journey to Mars. Customized HR2000 spectrometers are a part of the ChemCam unit on NASA’s Mars Science Lab rover, Curiosity, launched November 26, 2011 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Spectrometers from Ocean Optics will enable rapid sample analysis on Mars

Spectrometers from Ocean Optics will enable rapid sample analysis on Mars

Ocean Optics supplied three modular HR2000 high-resolution miniature fiber optic spectrometers that were configured for analysis of Martian rock and soil composition using Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS). A laser mounted to the mast unit of the ChemCam instrument can fire at targets up to nine meters away, generating a series of laser pulses, the light from which is collected for the LIBS analysis.

The modular design of the HR2000, with selectable optical bench options such as detector, grating and entrance aperture (slit), made it an ideal choice for the mission. Each ChemCam spectrometer is configured to detect elemental signatures over a different wavelength of light: 240-336 nm, 380-470 nm, and 470-850 nm. The use of the three spectrometers simplifies the design and creates redundancy, as many elements under study have spectral lines in more than one of the spectral ranges covered by the three units.

Another reason the HR2000 was chosen for this mission was its reliability – a must for remote space operation where maintenance is impossible. Because the spectrometer contains no moving parts to fail, it can withstand the G forces associated with space travel. Additionally, the spectrometers were modified to handle extreme temperature ranges, radiation, shock and vibration.

The Curiosity Rover has been described by NASA as having the most advanced scientific instrumentation ever used to study the surface of Mars. With the analysis enabled by Ocean Optics’ equipment, sample analysis is exponentially faster. On prior missions, the time required to determine composition of a single sample was two to three days; ChemCam’s output is anticipated to be one dozen compositional measurements per day.

This is not the first space voyage for Ocean Optics equipment. In 2009, the company also collaborated on the ALICE spectrometer, which was instrumental in detecting the presence of water ice on the moon. Other NASA researchers have utilized Ocean Optics spectrometers for applications both on Earth and in space.

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Hong Kong Water Network Protected by PermaNet SMS Leak Detector Network

Hong Kong was the first city in Asia to take advantage of the advanced leak detection capabilities of the Permalog noise loggers, with an initial deployment back in 1999. The loggers are placed on water pipes where they listen for the sound made by leaks, log the data and then transmit it for further analysis. This enables water companies to identify leak areas quickly and efficiently; saving time, money and water by enabling a rapid, accurately-targeted response to repair the issue.

Hong Kong Water Network Protected by PermaNet SMS Leak Detector Network

Hong Kong Water Network Protected by PermaNet SMS Leak Detector Network

In Hong Kong, the Water Supplies Department (WSD) is in charge of maintaining the 7800km of underground water pipes in the city, and has a 15-year rehabilitation program costing billions of HK dollars to repair, upgrade and modernise the network. Their target is to reduce burst incidents from 2500/year in 2010 to 1000/year by 2015, and to decrease the leakage rate from 25% to 15%. Out of the 1100 cross-road pipes, around half are very old, and at increased risk of damage and disrepair.

When a pipe in the busy Wanchai district burst recently, the Hong Kong government identified a further 600 sites around the city where very old pipes run under busy streets, and deployed a new batch of Permalog+ noise loggers to watch for, identify and locate any leaks in these areas. 

Permalog technology is made and developed in the United Kingdom by Halma Water Management (HWM-Water Ltd), and the company’s distributor in Hong Kong is Allied Power Technology Ltd. Allied Power has supplied over 800 sets of Permalog+ units with SMS repeaters to the region, and also has a contract with the local government to analyse the data gathered from the system.

When deployed with SMS repeaters, the Permalog+ devices can function together as a nodal network, with all data being automatically transmitted back to a ‘home station’ – in this case Allied Power’s offices. Every morning, the company receives the leakage data for each of the install sites, and makes recommendations to the WSD based on this information.

Davis Li, Managing Director, said: “We manage a huge amount of data every day, which has to be organised and presented clearly. Because the noise loggers are on busy roads for this project, there is quite a lot of interference from road noise, which can complicate our job. The main challenge of this monitoring work is to localise a leak when a correlation is simply not possible. In these situations, we usually use the Permalogs’ Aqualog function to differentiate interference and help identify the leak location.”

When in Aqualog mode, a Permalog+ logger will measure and log acoustic data at pre-set intervals over an extended period of time, typically at night to minimise the traffic noise. This data can then be presented graphically so trends, anomalies and incidents can be clearly identified. This effectively displays whether or not the noise is caused by a leak, since any leak noise will be consistent.

The combination of the automated leakage data transmission for general leakage alerts, and in-depth on-site analysis with Aqualog, means that leaks can be quickly identified and problems repaired before they cause major disruption or damage to Hong Kong and its residents.

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Elfab launches first ATEX-approved wireless burst detection system

Pressure relief specialist Elfab has launched the industry’s first ATEX-approved burst detection system, Radio-Tel™. The new system combines the latest wireless technology with Elfab’s proven non-invasive detection system, Flo-Tel™+.

Elfab launches Radio-Tel™, the first ATEX-approved wireless burst detection system

Elfab launches Radio-Tel™, the first ATEX-approved wireless burst detection system

Suitable for the largest sites, Radio-Tel™ features real-time process monitoring of disc status and temperature. Situated in close proximity to the rupture disc, Radio-Tel™’s transmitters plug easily into the Flo-Tel™+. This eliminates the time-consuming and expensive wiring work necessary with all other detection systems.

The transmitters send a health message to the receiver every minute. When the transmitter detects that a disc has operated, the message changes to an alert signal.

Elfab has designed Radio-Tel™ to deliver maximum flexibility to its customers.  Each transmitter emits a unique identification code with each health message, providing end-users with control over individual units. The system’s PC-compatible software indicates disc status, enabling customers to easily monitor their processes from the control room. The software allows for detailed monitoring of each device, including exact location, process temperature, battery life and signal strength. Additionally, Radio-Tel™ can be hardwired to deliver maximum control over individual processes, or to trigger a beacon or siren in the case of a burst detection occurring.

Radio-Tel™’s fail-safe receiver module features optimal outputs and is pre-set for both hardwiring and software monitoring. The module can receive signals from a distance of up to 0.5km; for larger sites, harsh operating environments or where buildings and structures weaken signals, repeater aerials are recommended.

Suitable for use in even the harshest of operating conditions, all Radio-Tel™ parts have at least an IP65 rating, with the transmitters being fully ATEX Zone 0 approved.

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HWM Leak Detection Equipment Helps Save Water in Mooresville, N.C., USA

The town of Mooresville in North Carolina (USA) has been using HWM leak detection equipment to save time, money and water in its 240 miles of water mains, complying with new state regulations in the process. With the new equipment, Mooresville Public Services Department has found itself able to identify and repair leaks in the distribution network as and when they occur, minimising disruption to both the service and during the maintenance process.

HWM Leak Detection Equipment Helps Save Water in Mooresville, N.C., USA

HWM Leak Detection Equipment Helps Save Water in Mooresville, N.C., USA

Mooresville is a town of 33,000 people that provides an average daily flow of 12.2 million litres of water to 13,000 homes and businesses. In the summer of 2008, officials at the town’s Public Services Department were recording a 10% non-metered water rate, and underground water leaks were damaging the road network directly. In addition to this, the extensive digging required to find and repair the leaks obviously came at further cost and caused further disruption and congestion. With the passage of North Carolina House Bill 2499 requiring public water services to develop and implement water conservation measures, as well as new industries moving into the area that would drastically increase water requirements, officials knew it was time to upgrade their water management program.

After evaluating competing products, it was decided that the acoustic leak detection equipment designed and manufactured by HWM was the best match for their operational and budgetary requirements. The order was placed with Fluid Conservation Systems (HWM’s sister company in the USA). Mooresville Public Services Director, John Vest, said: “The FCS equipment was compatible with our record keeping system and simple enough so that the guys in the field could use it and feel confident that they were collecting accurate results.”

Mr. Vest contacted local distributor Carolina Meter & Supply (Hampstead, N.C.) and purchased Permalog leak detecting acoustic noise loggers, L-Mic and X-Mic ground microphones, a MicroCALL+ Digital leak noise correlator*, and a Patroller II system to allow leak data to be collected from a moving patrol vehicle in ‘drive-by’ fashion.

Within 6 months of installing the equipment, Mooresville Public Services staff had located and repaired 24 leaks, saving an estimated total of $80,000 (roughly £50,000) annually. Workers were pinpointing leaks accurately, allowing preventative maintenance work to be scheduled with advance public notification to avoid traffic congestion. “The FCS equipment has really enhanced our planning capabilities. We’re finding leaks before they become a problem”, said Field Operations Supervisor, WD Bumgarner.

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In-Country Sales Manager Strengthens Perma Pure’s Business in India

Leading gas conditioning products manufacturer Perma Pure has solidified its commitment to the Indian market with the appointment of Mahadev Hatti as its dedicated Sales Manager for India.

In-Country Sales Manager Strengthens Perma Pure’s Business in India

In-Country Sales Manager Strengthens Perma Pure’s Business in India

Photo: http://halmapr.com/pp/MHattiRelease.jpg (645 KB)

Based in Mumbai, Mr Hatti will support customers of Perma Pure’s emissions monitoring products, as well as explore new opportunities for Perma Pure’s medical, scientific and fuel cell products. Additionally, he will continue to develop the company’s Indian distributor networks, training new and existing distributors.

Mr Hatti has extensive experience in the sales and marketing of products and systems for both the medical and emissions monitoring industries. He joins Perma Pure from Clinix Medical Systems and Solutions, where he served as an area sales manager.  Prior to that, he worked in a marketing management role for Yokogawa India Limited. Mr Hatti has an MSc Electronics postgraduate degree from Gulbarga University.

For more information please contact:
Mr Mahadev Hatti
Perma Pure Sales Manager for India
Halma Trading and Services India Pvt. Ltd.
201 Hyde Park, Saki Vihar Road
Powai, Mumbai, Maharashtra, 400 072
Tel: 022 4200 0700; Fax: 022 6708 0415
Mobile : 99300 29944
E-mail: mhatti@permapure.com
Website: www.permapure.com

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