Big Data 2017
Conference paper

Distributed wireless sensing for fugitive methane leak detection

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Large scale environmental monitoring requires dynamic optimization of data transmission, power management, and distribution of the computational load. In this work, we demonstrate the use of a wireless sensor network for detection of chemical leaks on gas oil well pads. The sensor network consist of chemi-resistive and wind sensors and aggregates all the data and transmits it to the cloud for further analytics processing. The sensor network data is integrated with an inversion model to identify leak location and quantify leak rates. We characterize the sensitivity and accuracy of such system under multiple well controlled methane release experiments. It is demonstrated that even 1 hour measurement with 10 sensors localizes leaks within 1 m and determines leak rate with an accuracy of 40%. This integrated sensing and analytics solution is currently refined to be a robust system for long term remote monitoring of methane leaks, generation of alarms, and tracking regulatory compliance.