From 370km above the earth to 11000m under the sea


Courtesy of Analox Sensor Technology

It’s a bold strapline – but what does it mean? Have we opened an atmosphere research facility in outer space? Organised an aquatic Charity Day in the Mariana Trench? Well, if you didn’t know anything about Analox you’d be forgiven for wondering. After all, three-hundred and seventy kilometres above the earth is a long way from Stokesley. And eleven thousand metres under the sea is nearly seven miles deeper than West Beck, our local tributary. For a compact and bijou manufacturer in North Yorkshire we certainly get around.

Since 1981 we’ve been designing and manufacturing gas monitoring systems for use in extreme environments. Many thousands of Analox gas sensors are now permanently deployed to analyse breathing air and check for toxic gas contamination. Our niche gas detection solutions protect lives not only on the surface of the earth but also in the tunnels beneath it, the atmosphere above it and in the watery depths of its oceans (our gas sensor technology is used by more than twenty of the world’s submarine operating nations).

Analox instruments are designed to function in some very hostile places. The working conditions tolerated by our equipment – let alone by its human operators – are difficult to imagine. The sea is a good example: perpetual darkness below 1000 metres; temperature just above freezing; pressures reaching several thousand pounds-per-square-inch (compared with 30psi in an average car tyre). It’s tough down there. Nevertheless Analox’s oxygen analysers, carbon dioxide monitors and gas sensors are used in submersibles the world over.

We have 30 years’ experience in producing custom gas sensors for offshore gas detection, scuba diving and other difficult gas monitoring applications. We’re a household name in some of these sectors. We’re also an active participant in the undersea defence and security industry and our military division, AMS, develops submarine gas analysers and life-saving escape-and-rescue systems. Our Sub MKIIP breathing air monitor is currently the only portable device of its type that is compliant with the NATO standard, STANAG 1320 Ed 4.

Analox has never believed that the sky is the limit. Our products now make return trips to outer space and circle the globe in low earth orbit. The cosmos brings an entirely different set of technical problems than those encountered on earth or under sea but these are solved through the same attention to research and design. The specially built carbon dioxide and oxygen sensors embedded in our celestial ‘SV Multisensor 2’ demonstrate their pedigree by making trips to, from – and even in – several satellites orbiting the earth.

Space presents its own particular environmental challenges. Instead of high pressure there is no pressure – or rather, there is a vacuum. There is no air. In its place there are solar particles, galactic cosmic rays, extreme temperatures and electromagnetic radiation. Anything sent into space is at risk of being frozen, boiled, decompressed, asphyxiated, ionised or irradiated. And in the same way that astronauts are expected to pass very demanding tests before being selected, so too are their tools and instruments.

Analox has taken a modular approach to the design of aerospace gas monitoring devices. The SV Multisensor 2 is small enough to be fitted almost anywhere, and is ideal for integration with existing cargo and cabin monitoring systems. The compact SV HAT, a humidity and temperature sensor, may be used to check the storage conditions of spaceborne goods on their way through the Karman line. The 3000SI range provides sensors for more than a dozen types of gas in a robust, Zone 0-rated housing – ideal for spacecraft atmosphere control.

We’re proud to be able to stand by our bold strapline and encourage you to ‘challenge us’ with your atmosphere monitoring endeavours, we’re confident we’ll have a solution for you.

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