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Content archived on 2024-05-21

Pipeline remote sensing for safety and the environment (PRESENSE)


This 17 partner project aims to further improve the safe and secure transmission of gas in Europe's extensive high-pressure gas mains transmission network. The project targets are to assess the potential benefits of remote monitoring techniques and processes, particularly satellite surveillance, compared with conventional techniques, such as routine helicopter surveillance, widely used in the industry today. The objectives are to develop and integrate the elements of a pipeline management system for European gas/oil pipeline operators to improve safety, reduce survey costs and improve transmission efficiency through increased monitoring frequency. The ultimate target is a new form of pipeline management system based upon remote satellite surveillance, providing pipeline operators with a computer based information system capable of alerting them to potential pipeline damage, in all weather and lighting conditions. Major savings are anticipated by replacing conventional monitoring techniques with remote surveillance sensing and employing advanced data processing of imagery to supply feature identification with improved response times compared with current practice. Description of the work: The technical work programme comprises 7 work packages (WPs). The consortium comprises three key strands of capability, namely pipeline operator, remote technology provider and system integrator. A non-technical, WP1 provides the project management, WP2 harmonises partner background knowledge on current monitoring techniques & the potential for new remote sensing methods. Overall system design is managed in WP3 where an integrated approach is proposed for a new surveillance system, the functionality of technologies being assessed using airborne & satellite platforms, the final target system being satellite based. In WP4 mathematical models will be developed to compare cost-benefits and risks that will relate surveillance frequency with potential pressure uplift. The core of the programme is WP5 where the prototyping and validation of several key technologies SAR, INSAR, CFAR & multi-spectral optical systems will be combined through data fusion processes into a coherent GIS based feature recognition system. This will be validated through analysis of satellite data and flying systems in aircraft over selected pipeline sites. Target features of 3rd party interference (recognition of vehicles, etc.), soil movement and gas leakage will be configured and monitored in the field. Benefits derived from integrating information from several sensor technologies (data fusion) will be explored to provide a system that will operate under all weather and lighting conditions. Advanced algorithms will be developed to analyse the layers of data to enable extraction of the features. Results fed from WP5 will be fed into WP6 to refine system architecture & identify routes through to a commercially viable system, whilst WP7 will provide collaboration, dissemination and exploitation strategies.
Expected results and exploitation plans:
The key results are expected to include the following:
- Report on current status of remote sensing applied to pipeline surveillance.
- Partner agreement on system design concept.
- Mathematical models demonstrating cost benefit and risk assessment.
- At least three prototype monitoring systems prepared for site surveillance.
- At least three algorithms demonstrating multi-image feature extraction
- A demonstration system architecture for commercial development

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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Ashby Road
United Kingdom

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Total cost
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Participants (16)