DIAL Technology Main Features

DIAL has a number of features which set it above all apparent competitor technologies:

  • Single ended, requires no solid retro-reflector
  • Range 50m to 1500m depending on atmospheric conditions and spectral region.
  • Can measure with parts per billion sensitivity.
  • Range resolved. i.e. can measure concentration in specific small (<7m) zones at all distances along the line of sight.
  • Wavelength tuneable, UV - visible - IR, can target any atmospheric species with a suitable spectral fingerprint.
  • Narrow line width emission which enables measurement of species such as methane and its isotopes.
  • Almost spherical scanning ability

The combination of all these features produce a technique which is totally unique in its range and versatility of applications. Despite this, throughout the 1990s and 2000s Spectrasyne Ltd operated the only simultaneous measurement, tuneable UV - visible - IR DIAL system in the world. There were a number of UV - visible DIAL systems in existence world-wide but these had a restricted range of target species and there was one operational IR DIAL system initially shared by Shell, British Gas and Siemens and subsequently operated by NPL.

All through the 1990s and 2000s Spectrasyne Ltd provided a DIAL Survey service to the oil, gas and petrochemicals industry across the UK, Mainland Europe, Scandinavia and the Americas. In that time 160 surveys were performed providing the sites surveyed with the wherewithal to target their most lossy plant and, as a result, dramatically reduce their fugitive hydrocarbon emissions. It is estimated that over the operationally active time of the Spectrasyne DIAL’s operation it was responsible for reduction of many thousands of tonnes/year of hydrocarbon emissions and, more importantly, of the greenhouse gas, methane. As methane is approximately 20x more active than CO2 as a greenhouse gas this represented a huge equivalent CO2 tonnage saving per annum.

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DIAL Airport

The Spectrasyne DIAL measurements also resulted in dramatic reductions in the emissions of the toxic oxides of nitrogen gases from many combustion based systems and large amounts of the carcinogenic benzene gas emissions. Most of the Spectrasyne papers and report were client confidential, but a few are in the public domain as are some papers and conference presentation prepared by clients based on Spectrasyne reports (see References and Further Reading).

© AG Wootton, JTM Moncrieff,  PL McCready 2018