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Environmental and Agricultural Monitoring

Australian Facility For Noble-Gas Radio Isotope Measurements Using Atom Trap Trace Analysis (ATTA)

Dr Phil Light, Prof Andre Luiten and partners at Griffith University are constructing a new facility, funded through an Australian Research Council LIEF Grant, to measure ratios of noble-gas radio-isotopes, with a specific focus on three target isotopes: Kr-81, Kr-85 and Ar-39. The facility will accurately date water and ice core samples using the natural radioisotopes incorporated within the samples. This will allow a detailed understanding of water and gas movement in underground reservoirs, provide analysis of changes in atmospheric composition over the long-term, and assess the impact of unconventional gas extraction on water systems. The facility will also be capable of detection of man-made emissions of such radio-isotopes, in particular Kr-85, which can aid in the determination of compliance with nuclear non-proliferations treaties. The measurement facility will use the Atom Trap Trace Analysis (ATTA) technique, which allows measurements to be performed using gas extracted from small water samples, orders of magnitude smaller than measurements performed using existing techniques such as low-level counting (LLC) or accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS).

Learn more about ATTA


High-Resolution Pipeline Condition Assessment Using Hydraulic Transients

Prof Martin Lambert is leading an ARC Discovery to develop urgently needed non-invasive methods to assess the fine detail of a pipe’s condition and allow ‘just in time’ predictive repair. Water distribution networks are society’s most important infrastructure asset. They consist of buried pipes that are often old and deteriorating, and maintenance overhead exceeds $1 Billion per year in Australia alone. The project will develop cost-effective powerful tools to identify faults, such as pipe wall corrosion and blockages, while allowing operational continuity. The expected outcome is high-resolution images of wall condition of pipes using high-frequency pressure transients and sophisticated fibre optic sensor arrays. This project aims to develop urgently needed non-invasive methods to assess the fine detail of a pipe’s condition and allow ‘just in time’ predictive repair. Water distribution networks are society’s most important infrastructure asset. They consist of buried pipes that are often old and deteriorating, and maintenance overhead exceeds $1 Billion per year in Australia alone. The project will develop cost-effective powerful tools to identify faults, such as pipe wall corro ion and blockages, while allowing operational continuity. The expected outcome is high-resolution images of wall condition of pipes using high-frequency pressure transients and sophisticated fibre optic sensor arrays.

Learn more about High-Resolution Pipeline Condition Assessment


Next-Generation Photonic Magnetic Sensing for Geophysical Exploration

Magnetic Sensing has been used as a key technology for energy and minerals exploration since the 19th century. The depth, nature and size of mineral deposit determines the magnitude and direction of the magnetic response that needs to be detected by the sensor. The sensitivity limit of typical commercial sensors is such that economically valuable deposits can be missed in conventional explorations. More sensitive solutions exist but they are rarely applied due to high costs, bulk size and fragility. A secondary issue associated with geophysical exploration is the fluctuations of the earth’s geomagnetic field which contaminate the desired measurements. The ideal way to reject these fluctuations is the use of a network of magnetometers – this approach also offers a path to localisation of the deposit. Designed to have sensitivity at least an order of magnitude better than conventional geophysical magnetometers, this network only needs a simple and robust optical fibre connection to each sensor. This project, in close collaboration with industrial partner ElectroMagnetic Imaging Technology (EMIT), will allow the design and packaging of the sensors into a deployable array and demonstrate its operation in-field.

Learn more about Photonic Magnetic Sensing


Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing
Address

North Terrace Campus
The Braggs Building
The University of Adelaide
Adelaide SA 5005
Australia

Contact

T: +61 8 8313 9254 
ipasadelaide@adelaide.edu.au

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