Performance Assessment of a Fiber Optic Methane Sensor Exposed to Coal Smoke


Heather Dougherty, NIOSH/PMRD; Thomas Dubaniewicz, NIOSH/PMRD; MingMing Li, N/A

Fiber optic sensing is a novel technology only recently applied to the underground mining industry. Fiber optic (FO) sensors are valuable in the mining industry due to their electrical isolation and long communication distance for both daily operation and post disaster response. A prototype developed for NIOSH mining of a fiber optic methane sensor for use in mines was selected for testing in laboratory experiments to study the potential effects of post disaster response. An analysis was conducted to determine whether there was continued response after a fire or smoke emergency. Researchers used heat, carbon dioxide (CO2), and smoke to determine laser power budget changes and the fiber optic sensing practicality both during and after this type of emergency condition. Separate variations of temperature, CO2, and smoke were administered to a sensor, each showing minimal change in power budget, although smoke tests indicated a change in response time when testing for methane.