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A Decade of Pipeline Geotechnical Monitoring Using Distributed Fiber Optic Monitoring Technology

[+] Author Affiliations
Fabien Ravet, Marc Niklès, Etienne Rochat

Omnisens, Morges, Switzerland

Paper No. IPG2017-2503, pp. V001T03A001; 13 pages
  • ASME 2017 International Pipeline Geotechnical Conference
  • ASME 2017 International Pipeline Geotechnical Conference
  • Lima, Peru, July 25–26, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Pipeline Systems Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5762-5
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


Many pipelines are built in regions affected by harsh environmental conditions where changes in soil texture between winter and summer increase the likelihood of risks. Pipeline routes also cross the mountains that are characterized by steep slopes and unstable soils as in the Andes and along the coastal range of Brazil. In other cases, these pipelines are laid in remote areas with significant seismic activity or exposure to permafrost. Depending on weather conditions and location, visual inspection is difficult or even impossible and therefore remote sensing solutions for pipes offer significant advantages over conventional inspection techniques. Optical fibers can help solve these challenges. Optical fiber based geotechnical and structural monitoring use distributed measurement of strain and temperature thanks to the sensitivity of Brillouin scattering to mechanical and thermal stresses. The analysis of scattering combined with a time domain technique allows the measurement of strain and temperature profiles. Temperature measurement is carried out to control soil erosion or dune migration through event quantification and spatial location. Direct measurement of strain in the soil also improves the detection of environmental hazards. As an example the technology can pinpoint the early signs of landslide. In some cases, pipe actual deformation must be monitored such as in case of active tectonic fault crossing. Pipe deformation monitoring operation is achieved by the measurement of distributed strain along fiber sensors attached to the structure. This paper comprehensively reviews over 10 years of continuous development from technology qualification and validation to its implementation in real cases as well as its successful continuous operation. Case studies present pipeline monitoring in Arctic and Siberian environment as well as in the Andes. They illustrate how the technology is used and demonstrate proof of early detection and location of events such as erosion, landslide, subsidence and pipe deformation.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Topics: Fibers , Pipelines



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