The MGD detector is a new innovative technology from Firefly offering a unique solution for early fire detection in extremely harsh environments such as storage silos, turbines, conveying systems and electrical rooms.
Development of fire gases are the first indication of a fire in most cases. Conventional fire detection systems are built on detecting physical phenomena such as particles, aerosols, temperature and radiation, which are generated as secondary by-products of the actual fire, whereas primary by-products such as fire gases are not detected.
The development of MGD gas detectors can be traced back to a fire that broke out onboard the space station, MIR, which was caused by a chemical oxygen generator. Simultaneously, a Smart Gas Sensor (SGS) experiment was carried out inside the space station on behalf of ESA (European Space Agency). The SGS was an electronic nose system, which imitated the main elements of the human sense of smell. The data from the experiment showed a ‘fire gas signature’ and identified this as a characteristic pattern or a ‘fingerprint’.
EADS/RST in Germany, a leading European aerospace company involved in the SGS experiment on MIR used the data from the experiment to further develop the sensor. Firefly began collaborating with EADS/RST in 2000 to create a Multiple Gas Detector (MGD) to be used in different environments for unique, extremely early fire detection.
The MGD detector contains extremely sensitive sensors that react fast on the gases released in the early stage of a fire, even before the presence of visible smoke or flames. The detector differentiates the actual gas from other gases in the air by constantly comparing the actual gas pattern with different classified patterns of gas.
An electronic version of the human nose, the MGD detects gas through chemical gas sensors and advanced data processing. The MGD responds to a ‘smell’ (gas composition) from burning material by registering and identifying a wide range of gas emissions. By pattern classification, each smell forms a unique ‘fingerprint’ and can be used for suppression of both ‘dangerous’ and ‘non-dangerous’ combustion gases.
Key features of MGD gas detectors:
- Enables fire detection at an extremely early stage
- Full system functionality in tough environments such as storage silos, conveying systems and electrical rooms
- Extremely low frequency of false alarms
- Suppresses ‘harmless disturbances’ such as exhaust fumes from diesel driven locomotives
- Ideal for applications with pressure differences, high humidity and dusty conditions