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Scientists propose new detection method for underground pipe leaks

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Chinese researchers have found a new method to detect underground pipeline leaks more accurately, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

Acoustic methods that use sound to spot underground pipe network leaks have been used through sensors either installed along the pipeline or on the ground. However, they are not fit to detect multiple leaks.

Researchers from the Institute of Acoustics under the CAS have proposed the acoustic method for locating buried pipes based on ground surface vibration measurements in their earlier work. They further collaborated with researchers from Tsinghua University and proposed an image fusion method for spotting pipe leaks under the ground.

The researchers used an array of seismometers to draw an imaging map of the magnitude of ground vibration caused by the leaks. They combined this technology with the acoustic technique, demonstrating a feasible approach for remote sensing and multiple-leakage detection.

Results showed that the proposed method helps improve the sound-based acoustic technique for automatically mapping and locating the area of the suspected leaks.

The research was published in the journal Sensors. (Xinhua)