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Distributed fiber optic moisture intrusion sensing system

United States Patent

June 24, 2003
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
Method and system for monitoring and identifying moisture intrusion in soil such as is contained in landfills housing radioactive and/or hazardous waste. The invention utilizes the principle that moist or wet soil has a higher thermal conductance than dry soil. The invention employs optical time delay reflectometry in connection with a distributed temperature sensing system together with heating means in order to identify discrete areas within a volume of soil wherein temperature is lower. According to the invention an optical element and, optionally, a heating element may be included in a cable or other similar structure and arranged in a serpentine fashion within a volume of soil to achieve efficient temperature detection across a large area or three dimensional volume of soil. Remediation, moisture countermeasures, or other responsive action may then be coordinated based on the assumption that cooler regions within a soil volume may signal moisture intrusion where those regions are located.
Weiss; Jonathan D. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
09/ 608,334
June 29, 2000
This invention was made with support from the United States Government under Contract DE-AC04-96AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.