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A multi-institutional group of researchers from Denmark and Norway has developed a laser-based system that can detect fires in challenging environments. The new system does not measure the amount of light or its wavelength, but rather how the refractive index randomly fluctuates due to heat convection from the fire. In practical terms, this means that light obstruction from ambient dust particles will not be a problem as long as a small fraction of the light is detected, and that fires without visible flames can still be detected.
The system detects a fire or change in temperature by using optical components to create and detect changes in a speckle pattern. Dynamic speckle patterns are produced by interference when the laser light…READ MORE