Cabin Air Sensor Solutions Commercialises their TBP detector ‘Canary’ with support from long standing partner Circad Design.
Posted on 5th September 2023
Cabin Air Sensor Solutions (CASS) has developed a sensor able to detect in real-time, individual poisonous compounds that can be present in an aircraft cabin. Until now it has not been possible to detect these poisonous compounds to establish and prove their presence.
The cabin air in most passenger jets is supplied from the compression section of the engine in a process known as “bleed air”. If seals inside the engine leak, it is believed that heated oil fumes can enter the air supply, contaminating it with chemicals that experts believe cause serious health problems.
CASS have been developing their patented nano sensor technology for the past 6 years to create a ‘Canary’ type sensor for real-time detection of poisonous organophosphate-compounds such as Tributyl Phosphate, TBP and Tricresyl Phosphate, TCP in aircraft cabins. Circad Design has worked closely with CASS as their Electronics Design & Manufacturing Partner since 2016.
Circad’s initial task in 2016 was to build a mock-up detector to show investors what the product would look like.
Demonstration/Concept/Prototype handheld unit @ Q1 2017
Demonstration/Concept/Prototype handheld unit @ Q1 2021
The next task was to integrate the nano sensor technology into a bench device for real time trials using an environmental chamber. The bench system underwent several design iterations with the most significant being the PCB design of the custom optical Interface to accommodate new sensitivity requirements.
The final bench device was manufactured and supplied in 2021.
During this period, Circad were developing the electronics to integrate the bench device into a hand-held device and develop the prototype electronics for collecting and presenting the data through custom designed software.
The initial handheld unit design and detection capability has been witness tested and verified using Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC MS) by the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, UK for the detection of low-level TBP in ‘real-time’.
Technology verified by UK’s National Physical Laboratory @ May 2022.
Showing detection of 3 individual bursts of TBP injected into the cabin air test chamber
Work has now been successfully completed on sensing Ethanol, Ammonia, Acetone, Toluene, Tricresyl Phosphate & Carbon Monoxide. Work in ongoing, now adding Triphenyl Phosphate (TPP) to the detection library.
The CASS ‘Canary’ has been proven in testing and verification for accuracy, robustness and flexibility of operation within the aircraft cabin in actual flight and using aircraft cabin test facilities. CASS is now inviting airlines to participate in their 2023 Global In-Flight Aircraft Cabin Air Audit.
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