February

Quicker calibration for gas sensors

By Kate Sheridan

Vigilante AQS system
Courtesy of Maestro Mine Ventilation

Calibrating sensitive gas sensors underground calls for precision. If the gas concentration data skews higher than it is an operation could needlessly shut down, and if it skews too low it could endanger workers’ lives. “We have seen two people try to calibrate the same sensor in less than a one-hour period with results that vary by 30 per cent,” said Michael Gribbons, vice president of marketing and sales at Maestro Mine Ventilation. At the digital Vigilante AQS environmental stations underground, technicians can, in less than 30 seconds, swap out gas sensors needing calibration with sensors that have been calibrated in a controlled environment on surface. With other sensors technicians might only be able to calibrate between one and three per shift, Gribbons said, meaning individual sensors may not be recalibrated as regularly as they should be. Maestro developed the sensors with financial and technical support from the Ultra-Deep Mining Network. (UDMN also helped bring the product to the market.) The Maestro sensors can detect a wide variety of gases, including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, oxygen, methane and nitrogen dioxide. Because the sensors are internet-enabled, they can also transmit that data to the surface as well as diagnostic data, including the maximum and minimum temperatures to which they have been exposed.


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