Oracle Non-Contacting Gas Detector

The Oracle is a non-contacting gas identifier  with part-per-million sensitivity that requires no consumables and which is operable over a wide temperature range.  It is essentially a long baseline infrared spectrometer that identifies gases by comparing their infrared (IR) signatures with a built-in library of target gas signatures.   A beam of infrared light from a remote source ( it may be located up to 50 meters away) is  intercepted and spectrally analyzed by a base station spectrometer.  The  unique vibrational spectra associated with the target gases or atmospheric reaction products  enable high reliability identification. Figure 1 shows the Oracle installed in an ASAP V.  However, the Oracle may also be used as a stand-alone system.

Gas Detector Principle of Operation

Figure 1: Oracle system principle of operation.

Advantages of this method are that it is fast(1 second to alarm), sensitive, specific, reliable, and requires no consumables. In contrast to electrochemical detectors, the Oracle has a much lower chance of false readings due to cross-sensitivity, and there are no electrolytes to dry or leak out. In contrast to IMS gas detectors, Oracle’s spectral signatures are generally more unique than IMS signatures and there is a smaller chance of misidentifying the target gas. In addition, there is negligible effect of humidity and there are no scrubber packs to periodically replace.

Perhaps most importantly, the Oracle is not a point sensor - it will detect gases that pass anywhere between its remote light source and the main spectrometer receiver. This means that the probability of detecting a toxic gas plume within the local area is significantly improved since the targeted gas does not have to contact either the remote light source or the instrument. This can also reduce the number of detection devices required for a particular application since area coverage per detector is greatly improved.

The device is provided with Ethernet connectivity. This means that each unit can be queried from  anywhere in the world if the user knows the unit’s  IP address. 

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