Advanced, wirelessly connected sensor systems offering rapid deployments, virtual command centers, and 24/7 monitoring of gas- or radiation-related incidents as they happen are taking safety and crisis management to the next level.
Wirelessly Networked Chemical & Radiation Detection Systems is a compilation of nearly 15 years of collective experience and expertise in developing and implementing wireless sensor network solutions for detecting chemical and radiological threats in real-world, rugged-environment applications.
Fifteen years ago, we recognized the importance of wireless sensor information delivery. Back then, wireless technology fell short in meeting customers' performance and reliability requirements. Our vision was to develop and deliver innovative sensing solutions that seamlessly integrate to present to plant managers, incident commanders and remediatiors, potential real-world threats over a "network."
New cloud-based wireless safety systems now provide delivery of real-time data on toxic gases and radiation combined with the physiological status of emergency responders. The real-time monitors and safety systems help reduce incident response times and enhance safety in a broad range of applications. Wireless gas and radiation monitors can be deployed more efficiently, cost effectively and rapidly in industrial operations, on oil and gas exploration rigs, in HazMat and emergency responses, CBRNe agent detection (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive), homeland security, police, bomb disposal, public venue protection and fire service. Real-time gas and radiation detection data is shared to provide life- and time-critical information for quick decision support and execution of necessary actions.
Organizations today require and utilize a variety of wireless technologies and standards. Companies, government organizations, plant managers and incident managers must access real-time gas and radiation data to respond more quickly to protect property, workers and the public. This is why we created Wirelessly Networked Chemical & Radiation Detection Systems. It is intended to help readers improve their understanding of wireless technologies, and to help in the implementation and application of wireless sensor solutions, to ensure faster response times, increase compliance, reduce risk and costs, and ultimately, protect public and worker safety.
Dr. Hsi is chief technology officer for RAE Systems, a company he co-founded in 1991. He earned a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Syracuse University in 1982. He developed expertise in sensory and instrumentation at General Electric, Network Analysis, United Technology, and Hewlett-Packard. In 1984, he joined Applied Optoelectronic Technology (AOT) Corporation, where he eventually became vice president of technology. Dr. Hsi was instrumental in developing advanced photoionization detectors with substantially reduced size and weight, and advanced data-processing features. Dr. Hsi spearheaded RAE Systems' wireless initiative in gas detection. He holds 20 global patents and pending patents for technology related to gas detection. More Info >
Dr. Ma, a highly sought independent wireless design and networking consultant, has worked with RAE Systems since 2000. He is recognized for his contributions and pioneering work advancing RAE Systems' core competencies in wireless technology. Previously, he spent 20 years in education as a visiting scholar and lecturer at Kaiserslautern University in Germany, Chinese University in Hong Kong, and Xidian University in China. Dr. Ma has authored 13 research publications and a scientific book on topics that include mobile communications, direct-sequence spread spectrum (DSSS), CDMA, wireless ATM networks, queuing systems and RF technology. He received a doctorate in information engineering from Chinese University and a master's degree in RF engineering from Xidian University. Dr. Ma holds a patent for a device that cancels radio interference. More Info >
James Liu (also known as Li Liu) is RAE Systems' director of wireless technologies, where he is responsible for the development of wireless-enabled products. He is an engineering expert in wireless sensor networks, RFID technology and embedded RF systems. Prior to joining RAE Systems, Mr. Liu was the senior hardware engineer and technical manager for VIVOtech, Inc., where he developed the company's first RFID/NFC-based contactless payment system. Mr. Liu holds both a bachelor of science and a master of science degrees in mechanical engineering from Xi'an Jiaotong University and Sichuan University in China, respectively. He also holds a master of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Mr. Liu holds four U.S. patents. More Info >
Mr. Nègre is RAE Systems' vice president of products and marketing, where he has global responsibility for corporate and product marketing and management, and product certifications. Mr. Nègre was instrumental in the design and development of the new wireless gas-detection monitors introduced by RAE Systems, beginning in 2011. Prior to joining RAE Systems, Mr. Nègre held positions at Panametrics and GE Sensing. He holds two master degrees in scientific and technical subjects; one for studies in instrumentation from University of Provence in France and one for business studies from the School of Management in Marseille, France. In 2010, he completed a Stanford University executive management program. More Info >
Bobby Sheikhan is director of product management for RAE Systems. He has held several key positions at the company, including global product manager for wireless systems, service manager, application engineer and regional sales manager. He is experienced in providing training in air-monitoring and emergencyresponse planning for a wide range of industries. He holds a degree in electrical engineering from San Jose State University in California. Mr. Sheikhan is a soughtafter speaker and author, and has written articles for leading oil and gas, defense, industrial hygiene and environmental magazines. Mr. Sheikhan also contributed to additional RAE Systems' books: Gas Detection Tubes & Sampling Handbook, and The PID Handbook. More Info >
The Valero oil refinery in Delaware was an early adopter of wireless gas detection, including using it for confined-space applications. The facility periodically shuts down six major areas in the plant for 60 days at a time as part of its ongoing plant turnaround program. As a result of adopting wireless technology, the company saves a substantial amount of time recertifying confined spaces for each work shift. By using wireless detectors to continuously monitor the space, recertification is only required when there is an alarm.
At Valero, six independent wireless networks link to six corresponding control rooms. Data from each control room gets uploaded to an offsite data server that aggregates the data from all six locations. A master control center monitors the six production areas using a web-based terminal. Advanced monitoring software provides visibility to multiple wireless monitors and real-time maps showing the location and alarm data for all of the deployed units.
Alarm notification at the Valero facility is handled in multiple layers for increased safety and data management. Here's an overview of the system highlights:
Responding to a corporate directive to increase safety monitoring at its tank-farm storage areas, the Port Arthur Refinery for Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA, Inc. in Texas designed and implemented an innovative wireless gas-detection system as a permanent monitoring solution.
The cost-effective system capable of withstanding hurricane-force windscovers the tank farm with 49 wireless AreaRAE multi-gas systems. The instruments are pole mounted in a secure enclosure and solar powered. If the system goes into alarm, in addition to sounding multiple alerts, a real-time wireless signal activates roadway signs with warning lights and sirens. These alert motorists on nearby roadways in the proximity of the tank farm, and employees who use the roads in the plant of a potential exposure danger.
Three companies RAE Systems, StarCom Solar, and SAFER Systems came together to work with Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA to develop the integrated solution. It was built around the wireless AreaRAE and its ProRAE Guardian monitoring software. StarCom Solar, Inc., provided the weatherproof enclosure for the instrument and a solar solution, which powers the AreaRAE for 14 days without sun. They also developed the automated flashing signs that alert motorists.
RAE Systems' ProRAE Guardian monitoring software was used to collect and aggregate the data that gets wirelessly sent in real time to on-site monitoring computers, including one at the main security gate that is monitored around the clock. The AreaRAE data also was integrated with two meteorological stations and plume measurement and modeling software developed by SAFER Systems. When incidents happen, the system estimates downwind concentration levels, and provides direction and altitude models to predict plume direction and speed.
The use of wireless gas-detection systems in a fixed-location configuration allowed Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA to increase safety monitoring while providing a substantial savings over installing a fixed-wired system. Wireless systems, which are effective tools for many safety applications, often provide cost-effective alternatives to trenching and running wires for fixed systems.
Wireless systems that provide first responders with situation-specific information as it is needed at the incident location are being built into fire service vehicles in Europe.
Rosenbauer International AG, the world's largest manufacturer of fire trucks and firefighting equipment, integrates RAE Systems' ATEX-approved AreaRAE Steel wireless gas- and radiation-sensor system into its line of HazMat response trucks in Europe.
Called the EMEREC information management system from Rosenbauer, the system provides advanced, wireless toxic gas- and radiation-detection technology to link the rapidly deployable AreaRAE sensors to a centralized database to give first responders and incident commanders new capabilities. First responders can now get access to up-to-date and relevant information directly at an incident scene and seamlessly share critical information with other units to facilitate real-time collaboration.
Rosenbauer's EMEREC is the result of extensive collaboration that leverages the AreaRAE system to provide real-time, reliable and sustainable sensor data and alarm status to any location at any time. EMEREC is a solution that easily provides situation-specific information at the incident site as it is needed.