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How Does Infrared Gas Transmitter Technology Work?
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

In today's world, technology is king. It allows us to communicate across huge distances, cure deadly diseases, and even help us see things invisible to the naked eye.

Infrared gas detectors are a perfect example of amazing modern technology that allows us to see the unseen. They use infrared light to detect combustible gases, and can even tell the user exactly what type of gas is present. This complex technology relies on the laws of physics and clever design to determine the exact gases present in the air.

In this article, we'll go over infrared absorption, infrared gas detection, and the different types of infrared gas detectors.

Infrared Absorption

To understand how infrared gas detectors work, you need to understand infrared absorption. Infrared absorption is how these gas detectors are able to function.

When light hits an object, that object either absorbs or reflects light. But this is where it gets tricky; objects can absorb certain wavelengths of light but reflect other wavelengths of light.

In fact, this is how we see color. For example, an object might absorb every color wavelength but red. This means you only see the red wavelength coming off that object, which makes it appear red.

The same concept applies to gases. When light hits gases in the air, the elements in the gas absorb certain wavelengths and reflect others.

Infrared Gas Detection: How It Works

Infrared gas detectors work by harnessing the power of infrared absorption. These detectors fire a beam of infrared light, which hits the gases in the air. As the light passes through the gas, some wavelengths are absorbed while others are reflected.

The infrared detector analyzes the information from the light beam, determining which wavelengths were absorbed and deflected. Each element has its own reflectivity and absorption rates, and different gases are made of a unique combination of elements.

This means that each combustible gas absorbs and reflects wavelengths in different ways and has its own spectral fingerprint. This allows the detector to figure out exactly what gas is present in the air.

Open Path VS Point Detection

There are two main types of infrared gas detector: open path and point detection.

Open Path

Open path infrared detectors are able to detect gases in the air from a few meters away up to a few hundred meters away. Open path detectors work by detecting the wavelengths that are emitted by the gas the beam is hitting. This makes it great for outdoor applications or situations where a large area needs to be monitored.

Point Detection

Point detection devices work by using an infrared beam inside of the device. As oxygen and gases flow into the device, it fires an internal beam of light, which passes through the air inside the device and into a receiving sensor. The sensor detects which wavelengths got absorbed and reflected, and is able to determine which gas is present.

Point detection devices are much faster in detecting gases than open path detectors, but they can only analyze the air that comes directly in contact with the device.

Fast, Accurate Detection

It is clear that infrared gas detection is able to produce results quickly and accurately, telling users exactly what gas is present in the air. Make sure to do your research on which type of detection device is right for your needs.

If you have any more questions about infrared gas detection or other detection devices, please visit our blog.

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