Automated network of sensor units for real-time monitoring of compounds in a fluid over a distributed area

  • US 5,832,411 A
  • Filed: 02/06/1997
  • Issued: 11/03/1998
  • Est. Priority Date: 02/06/1997
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. A system for monitoring the composition and concentration of compounds in a fluid, comprising a plurality of sensor units distributed over an area and a central monitoring unit that communicate over a network in real-time, each said sensor unit comprising a) a power source, b) a connector that connects a sensor array to said unit, said sensor array comprising one or more sensor elements which respond to the same compound to different degrees to generate respective data signals that deviate from a baseline response in the presence of one or more compounds in the fluid, c) an interface that measures the data signals produced by each of the array'"'"'s sensor elements, d) a processor that formats the data signals into an output data stream, and e) an I/O circuit that places the output data stream onto the network, said sensor units and said central monitoring unit processing in real-time the sensor units'"'"' data signals to first compute a local profile for each said sensor unit and then compute a spatial and temporal map of the compounds in the fluid over the area, said local profiles indicating whether a total concentration of the one or more compounds detected at each said sensor unit exceeds a threshold without detecting the individual compounds and their concentrations.

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