Real – time monitoring of pipeline technology

Real – time monitoring of pipeline technology

The use of innovative fiber optic cable technology to detect the impact and leakage of its transmission and high pressure piping systems.

The technique uses optical fiber bundles to transmit data over long distances and can send early warnings of pressure changes or vibrations that can indicate leaks or shocks of gas lines. The technique can quickly detect the presence of abnormal stress, motion or temperature conditions. Continuous monitoring and measurement will help companies quickly identify heavy equipment operation, accidental ground movement or physical collision to pipeline threats. When a threat is identified, the information will be sent to the remote monitoring station along the fiber optic cable within a few seconds. The system can determine where the potential problem may occur within 20 feet.

The system can prevent damage to pipelines due to unauthorized construction work, geological conditions or other physical changes, such as structural stresses from the water cutters. It can also detect pipeline leaks by sound and temperature signal analysis. Access to real-time and region-specific data will allow the technician to have more time to plan, allocate resources, and take effective action to mitigate leakage or potential leakage.

The system works by changing the optical signal when the fiber optic cable is exposed to abnormal changes in vibration, stress, or temperature. Advanced techniques help the operator to interpret these signal changes and determine the type of threat caused and the exact location along the length of the cable. In some cases, the operator will be able to distinguish between hand digging and conventional traffic with heavy equipment near the pipeline.

“This is a technology to change the rules of the game,” the engineer said. “This will help keep our community safe and allow us to more quickly resolve third – party contractors’ accidental excavations and interruption of service each year.

In order to test and better understand the performance of the new system, the engineers of the test facility created a reduced pipe section and installed fiber optic cables in the pipe trenches.

Personnel are crushed and dug into soil, pavement and other surfaces, pushing heavy equipment around the test area to simulate gas leaks of different sizes. From a remote location, the special monitoring device successfully identifies each activity through its unique data signature.

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