Safe environmental conditions and environmental monitoring have great importance in our life. The early detection of dangerous events, such as earthquakes, large-scale fires, appearing of poisoning or flammable gases, water and soil pollutions are critical to prevent oncoming cataclysms.
Here we propose an integrated smart device that can be part of a network, capable to detect any of the above-stated hazards. The network can be deployed over critical and large areas; it will be self powered and remotely read-out.
Nowadays gaseous sensors, due to their low cost and high reliability, are widely used for these purposes: there are Radon (Rn) detectors (exposure to Rn at home and workplace constitutes one of the greatest risks from ionising radiation), smoke and flame detectors, sensors of dangerous gases, etc. All of them (except the flame detector) operate in ionisation chamber mode. Usually, such detectors monitor the environmental situation independently from each other and are not integrated into one device.
The aim of this proposal is to develop prototypes of complex integrated systems for indoor and outdoor monitoring of environmental conditions. Each system will consist of multiple sensors assembled in a single device; each of the sensors will perform a specific task and deliver information to a common computing centre via cell or satellite phone protocols. Their low consumption will allow to power the devices through solar cells in full autonomy. Two main designs of specially-developed gaseous detectors are being studied, to address in a common framework all the applications mentioned above: a micropattern/microwire-type and a spark-protected resistive (gas electron multiplier) GEM-type. These detectors are operating in gas avalanche mode with sensitivities orders of magnitude higher than existing commercial devices.
The suggested systems will be able to perform simultaneously several tasks, for example, online Radon monitoring, flame detection and visualisation, remote smoke detection, detection of the appearance of dangerous gases, and, if necessary, UV hyper-spectroscopy of specific objects.