Methane Monitoring

The Methane Monitoring System monitors  the presence of methane gas in real time with a permanently installed, expandable optical sensor network. The sensing is via a low power laser distributed to the sensors by the fiber optic network,  inherently safe for use in coal mines and environments where explosive gases are present.  The sensor system and the remote gas sensing units are self referencing for the central control unit.  The remote gas sensors require no periodic maintenance or "calibration" enabling their use in all active and abandoned areas of the mine. The system is inherently safe for use in hazardous locations.


Methane Sensing Unit
(Picture courtesy of OptoSci, Ltd)

RSL submitts comments in response to MSHA RFI on new technology for remote monitoring systems.

Summary of RSL Comments

Full RSL Response

In February 2015, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued a Request for Informatin (RFI) - MSHA Docket Number MSHA-2014-0029, RIN 1219-AB85.  This RFI addresses ways to improve miners' safety as a result of issues highligted by a coal dust explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine on April 5, 2010 that killed 29 miners.

For RSL comments and other respondents go to:!docketBrowser;rpp=50;so=DESC;sb=docId;po=0;dct=PS%252BSR;D=MSHA-2014-0029

NIOSH Funded, In-mine Study

Results of a NIOS Funded, in-mine study (NIOSH 2012-N-14257) showed that the system accurately monitored methane levels under dusty and humin conditions - even when a 90% signal loss was introduced.

Interfaces to New or Existing Atmospheric Monitoring Systems 

The Methane Monitoring System streams data which provides acutal methane concentrations from 0.05% up t0 100% at 2 second intervals for hundreds of points across long distances (>10 miles).  All sensors sensors are updated simultaneously.

The methane data stream can be easily interfaced with new or existing Atmospheric Monitoring Systems (AMS) through an OPC protocol (an open standard for commercial and process environments) to immediately aleart an operator to the exact location of the gas hazard.


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Technical Paper

* Example of methane alams on facilit map.  
(Courtesy of Pillar Innovations, LLC)



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