DETECTION OF UNAUTHORIZED CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT IN PIPELINE RIGHT-OF-WAYS
DETECTION OF UNAUTHORIZED CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT IN PIPELINE RIGHT-OF-WAYS Natural gas transmission companies mark the right-of-way areas where pipelines are buried with warning signs to prevent accidental third-party damage. Nevertheless, pipelines are sometimes damaged by third-party construction equipment. A single incident can be devastating, causing death and millions of dollars of property loss. This damage would be prevented if potentially hazardous construction equipment could be detected, identified, and an alert given before the pipeline was damaged. The Gas Technology Institute (GTI) is developing a system to solve this problem by using an optical fiber as a distributed sensor and interrogating the fiber with an optical time domain reflectometer. Key issues are the ability to detect encroachment and the ability to discriminate among potentially hazardous and benign encroachments. The work performed in the second quarter of the project includes design of the instrument, selection of the key components, and beginning programming of the custom optical time domain reflectometer. Work included an assessment of two other approaches to measuring strain and vibrations in an extended optical fiber sensor.
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