SciTech Connect

Title: CAPACITIVE TOMOGRAPHY FOR THE LOCATION OF PLASTIC PIPE

CAPACITIVE TOMOGRAPHY FOR THE LOCATION OF PLASTIC PIPE Throughout the utility industry, there is high interest in subsurface imaging of plastic, ceramic, and metallic objects because of the cost, reliability, and safety benefits available in avoiding impacts with the existing infrastructure and in reducing inappropriate excavations. Industry interest in locating plastic pipe has resulted in funding available for the development of technologies that enable this imaging. Gas Technology Institute (GTI) proposes to develop a compact and inexpensive capacitive tomography imaging sensor that takes the form of a flat plate or flexible mat that can be placed on the ground to image objects embedded in the soil. A compact, low-cost sensor that can image objects through soil could be applied to multiple operations and will produce a number of cost savings for the gas industry. In a stand-alone mode, it could be used to survey an area prior to excavation. The technology would improve the accuracy and reliability of any operation that involves excavation by locating or avoiding buried objects. An accurate subsurface image of an area will enable less costly keyhole excavations and other cost-saving techniques. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) has been applied to this area with limited success. Radar requires a high-frequency carrier to be injected into more » the soil: the higher the frequency, the greater the image resolution. Unfortunately, high-frequency radio waves are more readily absorbed by soil. Also, high-frequency operation raises the cost of the associated electronics. By contrast, the capacitive tomography sensor uses low frequencies with a multiple-element antenna to obtain better resolution. Low-frequency operation lowers the cost of the associated electronics while improving depth of penetration. The objective of this project is to combine several existing techniques in the area of capacitive sensing to quickly produce a demonstrable prototype. The sensor itself will take the form of a flat array of electrodes that can be inexpensively fabricated using printed circuit board techniques. The image resolution is proportional to the number and spacing of the electrodes in the array. Measuring the complex impedance between adjacent electrodes at multiple frequencies forms the image. Simple location of plastic pipe with a two-electrode array has already been demonstrated. Twelve months will be required to produce a prototype imaging system consisting of a flat sensor that can be laid on the ground to scan the volume immediately beneath it. Following a successful demonstration of this prototype, the application of this sensor to the surface of a backhoe will be addressed. « less
Authors: ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:OSTI ID: 793997
Report Number(s):FC26-01NT41161--01
TRN: US200208%%198
DOE Contract Number:FC26-01NT41161
Resource Type:Technical Report
Resource Relation:Other Information: PBD: 25 Jan 2002
Research Org:National Energy Technology Lab., Pittsburgh, PA (US); National Energy Technology Lab., Morgantown, WV (US)
Sponsoring Org:US Department of Energy (US)
Country of Publication:United States
Language:English
Subject: 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ACCURACY; ELECTRODES; EXCAVATION; IMPEDANCE; PLASTICS; PRINTED CIRCUITS; RADAR; RELIABILITY; RESOLUTION; SAFETY; SOILS; TOMOGRAPHY