Explosive hydrocarbon leaks are a constant threat to refineries and oil rigs. Leaks, when not detected early, accumulate into dangerous clouds that can ignite when they reach a certain concentration (LEL). Current leak detection methods focus on installing point detectors at various locations in the refinery that measure pressure or a particular chemical concentration. These traditional point detectors are labor-intensive, inefficient, rarely real-time, and often ineffectual because they do not give a full and accurate picture of the chemical environment within the plant or rig. In an age where a single explosive accident can cost billions, Rebellion Photonics is offering a truly revolutionary product for rig/refinery safety.
Rebellion Photonics offers a Gas Cloud Imaging video camera that monitors, quantifies, and displays, using a false-colored image, explosive/harmful gas leaks with real-time (~30 fps) video and hardware-based zoom. The camera can be used as an alarm, with 0.5 second response time, to notify of potentially dangerous leaks and aid in safety management. With breakthrough optics technology invented at Rice University, Rebellion Photonics can offer Gas Cloud Imaging video cameras which provide several new possibilities in refinery/rig safety:
Traditional point detectors can be temperamental due to a high number of false alarms. The high frequency of false alarms can sometimes lead to employees ignoring the alarms, thus a false-colored image is a far more powerful safety tool than a blinking light. Furthermore, the hardware-based zoom allows the user to zoom in for a better understanding of the size, concentration, and point of origin of the leak. Therefore employees are better prepared to identify and repair before a disaster occurs.
Using their revolutionary technology, Rebellion Photonics is the only company on the market that offers real-time chemical detection (HSI) video with high quality chemical detection capabilities. The competition must scan, line by line, to form a false-colored image that identifies leaks. Despite this obvious limitation many companies have attempted to answer the needs of the $3.3B refinery leak detection market. The only other company to offer a gas imaging device is Bertin Technologies, which has partnered with General Monitors. Bertin’s device takes 2 seconds for every full image, while Rebellion’s GCI camera takes 60 full images every two seconds. Also, due to inherent scanning limitations, Bertin’s device can only image at lower quality (only 4 chemicals can be resolved and light-blocking filters are required) while RP’s GCI camera records over 20 chemicals at 30 fps with no filters and hence a greater range. In addition, Rebellion Photonics offers hardware zoom and true portability (no tripod required).
Rebellion Photonics is commercializing a revolutionary optics technology from Rice University called Snapshot Hyperspectral Imaging (HSI), also known as snapshot chemical imaging. HSI, in general, is a powerful technology because it allows users to capture detailed spectral information which identifies an object’s chemical composition within an digital photograph. However, capturing a hyperspectral image has, traditionally, been a slow process because information needs to be scanned one line a time and then re-mapped by a computer. Rebellion’s core innovation is to take make HSI instant, hence the name – snapshot. By putting the ‘snaps’ in order, Rebellion Photonics has created the first ever real-time chemical imaging video camera.
This incredible optics platform has potential in a variety of markets. The company is currently selling products to the biological research market, namely for live cell imaging for cancer research. Rebellion Photonics is already in late stage negotiations to form a corporate partnership with a large F500 company for this product line. Rebellion Photonics is now focused on taking this technology out of the lab and into new, larger markets, namely refinery/rig safety.
While the core technology that allows for real-time chemical imaging is complete, Rebellion Photonics is seeking a partnership with a larger company to fund final product development and allow Rebellion to pilot the product at one of their facilities. In exchange for funding, Rebellion Photonics can offer a variety of benefits for investing in a truly groundbreaking product.
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