Abaco Systems selected for methane detection

By Keefe Borden20 December 2021

Abaco's continuous monitoring system employs centralized eye-safe laser beams spanning regions measuring multiple square miles to quickly detect, locate, and size methane leaks in a dense infrastructure. 

Abaco Systems was awarded a $350,000 contract to supply FPGA cards into a basin-wide methane scanning and monitoring system. The system yields faster analysis and repair of oil and gas operations to reduce the accidental leakage of methane, the company said.

Although the initial value of the contract was $350,000, the value could grow through ongoing development, Abaco said.

The continuous monitoring system employs centralized eye-safe laser beams spanning regions measuring multiple square miles to quickly detect, locate, and size methane leaks in a dense infrastructure. What began in a university research lab later expanded into an ongoing commercial product that shifts the industry paradigm away from on-site time-intensive monitoring of oil wells and natural gas production facilities, the company said.

The regional monitoring and scanning system enables operators to act more quickly than a traditional on-site monitoring system. Abaco’s expertise in RF and FPGA design, innovative space-saving heatsink design, and longstanding relationship with the academic institution led to selection of the company’s FMC104 and FMC108 FPGA mezzanine cards for this system, the company said.

Both the FMC104 four-channel FPGA mezzanine card and the FMC108 eight-channel FPGA mezzanine card are fully compliant with the VITA 57.1-2008 standard. These cards allow for flexible sampling frequency control, analog input gain, and offset correction through serial communication with a carrier card.

Equipped with power supply and temperature monitoring, Abaco offer several power-down modes to switch off unused functions. Used in this application as digitizers, these cards bring proven technologies capable of low-cost continuous monitoring for fast methane leak detection and repair.

Their inventive heat dissipation design allowed for a less constrained environment and decreased overall costs by eliminating the need for additional heatsinks.

Pete Thompson, vice president of product management for Abaco Systems, said, “Abaco’s commitment to innovation is clearly evidenced in the design and ongoing use of our FMC104 and FMC108 for research into eye-safe, long-path laser systems and now long-distance gas detection systems. We are thrilled to be a part of research paving the way with groundbreaking technologies that change the future of emissions mitigation efforts.”

Abaco Systems develops rugged embedded electronics in multiple industries including aerospace, defense, energy, medical, communications. Abaco Systems is a subsidiary of AMETEK, Inc., a manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices with 2020 sales of more than $4.5 billion.

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