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Analysis and Design of an In-Pipe System for Water Leak Detection

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

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Rached Ben-Mansour

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

Paper No. DETC2011-48395, pp. 1007-1016; 10 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5: 37th Design Automation Conference, Parts A and B
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5482-2
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


In most cases the deleterious effects associated with the occurrence of leaks 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. Leaking in water networks has been a very significant problem worldwide, especially in developing countries, where water is sparse. Many different techniques have been developed to detect leaks, either from the inside or from the outside of the pipe; each one of them with their advantages, complexities but also limitations. To overcome those limitations we focus our work on the development of an in-pipe-floating sensor. The present paper discusses the design considerations of a novel autonomous system for in-pipe water leak detection. The system is carefully designed to be minimally invasive to the flow within the pipe and thus not to affect the delicate leak signal. One of its characteristics is the controllable motion inside the pipe. The system is capable of pinpointing leaks in pipes while operating in real network conditions, i.e. pressurized pipes and high water flow rates, which are major challenges.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Water leakage , Design , Pipes



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