Over the summer of 2005 ITT Space Systems Division successfully detected, measured, and imaged a range of different hazardous liquids from an airborne platform during a series of field tests in Texas and New York. Under contract from the United States Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (DOT/PHMSA), ITT examined the ability of its Airborne Natural Gas Emission Lidar (ANGEL) Service’s system to detect, measure, and image a wide range of different hydrocarbons from a remote sensing airborne platform. The objectives of the DOT/PHMSA contract were to: 1) develop an understanding of hazardous liquid pipeline leaks, 2) demonstrate that ITT’s DIAL (differential absorption lidar) technology can detect and measure hazardous liquid emissions over a broad area and in real world conditions, and 3) use this information to design a “next generation” airborne sensor system optimized for the detection of both natural gas and hazardous liquid emissions. Hazardous liquids examined in this study included propane, gas condensates, crude oil, and refined hydrocarbons like gasoline, aviation gas, diesel fuel, Jet A, and kerosene. As part of this study, ITT, in cooperation with El Paso Production and Texas A&M–Corpus Christi, completed two separate sets of overflights of a hazardous liquid storage facility. During each set of overflights, data was collected with the storage facility’s vapor recovery unit (VRU) operating and again after the VRU was turned off. In addition, hatches on each of the tanks were opened to create further emission sources. Additional aerial collections of gasoline vapors, propane, and natural gas were also completed. Data from each of the overflights was processed and the results analyzed. The ITT ANGEL Service technology was shown to be capable of rapidly detecting, measuring, and imaging a wide range of different hydrocarbons while flying at an altitude of 1,000 feet and speeds of up to 150 mph. An overview of the results from these flight tests and a discussion of the DOT/PHMSA Hazardous-Liquid Airborne Lidar Observation Study findings will be discussed.

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