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Systems and methods for optically measuring properties of hydrocarbon fuel gases

United States Patent

October 13, 1998
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A system and method for optical interrogation and measurement of a hydrocarbon fuel gas includes a light source generating light at near-visible wavelengths. A cell containing the gas is optically coupled to the light source which is in turn partially transmitted by the sample. A spectrometer disperses the transmitted light and captures an image thereof. The image is captured by a low-cost silicon-based two-dimensional CCD array. The captured spectral image is processed by electronics for determining energy or BTU content and composition of the gas. The innovative optical approach provides a relatively inexpensive, durable, maintenance-free sensor and method which is reliable in the field and relatively simple to calibrate. In view of the above, accurate monitoring is possible at a plurality of locations along the distribution chain leading to more efficient distribution.
Adler-Golden; Steven (Newtonville, MA), Bernstein; Lawrence S. (Lexington, MA), Bien; Fritz (Concord, MA), Gersh; Michael E. (Bedford, MA), Goldstein; Neil (Belmont, MA)
Spectral Sciences, Inc. (Burlington, MA)
08/ 784,608
January 21, 1997
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS The U.S. Government may have certain rights in the invention under Department of Energy grant No. DE-F602-96ER822280.