A preliminary study of combining mass spectrometric data with audio and video signals for real-time monitoring of controlled lab-scale fires
AuthorStatheropoulos, Miltiades K.
Pallis, George C.
Pappa, Athina A.
SourceSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
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The different aspects of sensors integration, and specifically that of a Mass Spectrometer (MS) with audio and video signals, are investigated for detecting and monitoring indoor fire events. The present study focuses on comparing the capabilities of a variety of chemical sensors, on answering technical challenges in regard to the integration of chemical, audio and video signals and on discussing integration issues for potential field applications. Controlled, small scale fire experiments were carried out in the laboratory. A commercial MS coupled with an in-house developed Pulsed Sampling System (PSS), was used for on-line sampling and near real-time monitoring of the evolved volatiles. The detection limit of PSS-MS was found to be 150 ppbv and its linearity was confirmed up to 10 ppmv using benzene gas standards. The profiles of ions with m/z 57, 78, 91 and 106, corresponding to indicative Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) of the fire event, were recorded and compared with the concentration profiles of CO2, CO, O2, NO and H/C (C 3H8), acquired by the gas sensors of a commercial exhaust gas analyzer. Audio and video signals were recorded by a microphone and a visual camera, simultaneously, with PSS-MS data. Two types of fire experiments were performed in order to simulate field conditions: (a) direct fire monitoring, in case of unobstructed direct fire view and (b) indirect fire monitoring through reflection of audio and video signals on metallic surfaces, for simulating obstacles preventing direct fire view. The information derived by audio and video signals reaffirmed the chemical detection inferences for both types of fire experiments, thus increasing the credibility of each individual method. Occasionally, video, audio and chemical information were complementary, thus counterbalancing the detection limitations of the individual methods. The integrated approach of combining MS data with audio and video signals appears to be a promising method in safety and security applications, where reliable, early detection and real-time monitoring is necessary. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
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