Gas leaks are often ignored unless there is a problem. The major kind of gas that is present in “natural gas” fuel — methane — is odorless and colorless, and deadly. Because it is odorless and colorless the detection of methane gas is very difficult without special equipment. FLIR’s new MUVE C360, comes to the rescue because it is a drone-integrated multi-gas detector that can save lives where there are hazardous gas leak incidents.
Many people are not aware that gas leaks represent a major public safety risk. Such lack of awareness is serious because methane gas leaks are extremely dangerous. The reason is that the gas is not only toxic at some concentrations, but it is also extremely flammable, and therefore, can cause explosions.
It is not surprising, therefore, that when a possible leak is reported to police or fire personnel, they must respond immediately. Until recently, this meant that before entering the scene with a hand-held gas monitor, personnel would have to be suited in appropriate protective gear, which is not only a heavy and burdensome suit, but a hot one as well. What makes the danger complicated and difficult is that not only is there the hazard of fire or explosion, but it is not uncommon for gas detectors to take some time to move air from the surroundings into the sensing chamber where they are able to do analysis. The consequence is that firefighters and/or public safety officers may face greater concentrations of gas before they are even able to get an accurate reading.
FLIR’s new MUVE C360 is a small multi-gas detector and payload with a probe that is attached to a commercial drone, which is also equipped with a visual camera for awareness of the situation. By using a drone equipped with the MUVE C360, firefighters are able to determine gas leaks at an incident from a safe distance. Then they can safely engage with the right equipment and a more accurate understanding of the situation since the visual camera provides 360 degree situational awareness. In addition, it is also possible to determine the source of a dangerous leak if the drone is equipped with DJI’s Zenmuse XT2 camera powered by FLIR thermal imaging.
The MUVE C360 provides faster response times, detection of multiple gasses, and provides a significant safety benefit for public safety personnel. FLIR’s Chris Bainter at a demonstration of the MUVE C360 by the Los Angeles Fire Department last year, pointed out that instead of risking personnel, FLIR’s multi-gas detector “allows the drone to be first in and last out” of an incident.
Bainter shares that it FLIR’s vision “to save lives and livelihoods” and that the MUVE C360 is a major new tool for public safety personnel. Bainter further points out that in the drone industry, although FLIR is known for thermal payloads “41% of our business comes from non-thermal
equipment. We’re safeguarding people and property, and we’re building products rugged enough to go into the same environments that our first responders go into.”*
For firefighters and other public safety personnel who have to deal with methane — an odorless, colorless, and deadly gas — and which is, therefore, extremely difficult to detect without special equipment, FLIR’s new MUVE C360 comes to the rescue.