Abstract

Pipelines present a unique challenge to monitoring because of the great geographical distances they cover, their burial depth, their age, and the need to keep the product flowing without much interruption. Most other engineering structures that require monitoring do not pose such combined challenges. In this regard, a pipeline system can be considered analogous to the blood vessels in the human body. The human body has an extensive pipeline through which blood and other fluids are transported. The brain can generally sense damage to the system at any location and alert the body to provide temporary repair, unless the damage is severe. This is accomplished through a vast network of fixed and floating sensors combined with a vast and extremely complex communication/decision making system. The project described in this report mimics the distributed sensor system of our body, albeit in a much more rudimentary fashion. Internal corrosion is an important factor in pipeline integrity management. At present, the methods to assess internal corrosion in pipelines all have certain limitations. In-line inspection tools are costly and cannot be used in all pipelines. Because there is a significant time interval between inspections, any impact due to upsets in pipeline operations can be mor missed. Internal Corrosion Direct Assessment (ICDA) is a procedure that can be used to identify locations of possible internal corrosion. However, the uncertainties in the procedure require excavation and location of damage using more detailed inspection tools. Non-intrusive monitoring techniques can be used to monitor internal corrosion, but these tools also require pipeline excavation and are limited in the spatial extent of corrosion they can examine. Therefore, a floating sensor system that can deposit at locations of water accumulation and communicate the corrosion information to an external location is needed. To accomplish this, the project is divided into four main tasks related to wireless data transmission, corrosion sensor development, sensor system motion and delivery, and consideration of other pipeline operations issues. In the first year of the program, focus was on sensor development and wireless data transmission. The second year of the program, which was discontinued due to funding shortfall, would have focused on further wireless transmission development, packaging of sensor on wireless, and other operational issues. Because, the second year funding has been discontinued, recommendations are made for future studies.

Document type: Report

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Published on 30/10/05
Accepted on 30/10/05
Submitted on 30/10/05

Volume 2005, 2005
DOI: 10.2172/881079
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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