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An In-Pipe Leak Detection Sensor: Sensing Capabilities and Evaluation

[+] Author Affiliations
Dimitris M. Chatzigeorgiou, Atia E. Khalifa, Kamal Youcef-Toumi

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Rached Ben-Mansour

King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

Paper No. DETC2011-48411, pp. 481-489; 9 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3: 2011 ASME/IEEE International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications, Parts A and B
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5480-8
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


In most cases the deleterious effects associated with the occurrence of leak may present serious problems and therefore leaks must be quickly detected, located and repaired. The problem of leakage becomes even more serious when it is concerned with the vital supply of fresh water to the community. In addition to waste of resources, contaminants may infiltrate into the water supply. The possibility of environmental health disasters due to delay in detection of water pipeline leaks has spurred research into the development of methods for pipeline leak and contamination detection. Leaks in water pipes create acoustic emissions, which can be sensed to identify and localize leaks. Leak noise correlators and listening devices have been reported in the literature as successful approaches to leak detection but they have practical limitations in terms of cost, sensitivity, reliability and scalability. To overcome those limitations the development of an in-pipe traveling leak detection system is proposed. The development of such a system requires a clear understanding of acoustic signals generated from leaks and the study of the variation of those signals with different pipe loading conditions, leak sizes and surrounding media. This paper discusses those signals and evaluates the merits of an in-pipe-floating sensor.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Sensors , Pipes , Leakage



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