Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UMR Study Finds Gas Pipelines Could Serve As Wireless Links

Date:
December 15, 2005
Source:
University Of Missouri-Rolla
Summary:
Detecting leaks and conducting maintenance in America’s aging network of natural gas pipelines will eventually be a job for wireless robots, according to researchers at the University of Missouri-Rolla.

Detecting leaks and conducting maintenance in America’s aging network of natural gas pipelines will eventually be a job for wireless robots, according to researchers at the University of Missouri-Rolla.

“As the existing natural gas pipeline ages, it is critical that these pipelines be periodically inspected for corrosion, cracking, and other problems that can eventually cause a failure of the pipeline,” says Dr. Kelvin Erickson, chair and professor of electrical and computer engineering at UMR. “For larger transmission lines, passive flow-powered platforms -- also known as pigs -- are used to carry an array of inspection sensors. However, in smaller, lower-pressure distribution mains, ‘pigs’ are inappropriate and so robotic devices are currently under development for the inspection and repair of these pipelines. Secure, reliable communication is needed to support these robotic devices.”

In a Department of Energy-funded study, a team of UMR faculty found that the 1.2 million miles of natural gas distribution and transmission pipelines that crisscross the United States could be used to build wireless networks. Known as 802.11 or Wi-Fi, wireless networks use radio links instead of cables to communicate between computers.

Initial tests were conducted on a small pipeline loop at UMR, with subsequent field testing on a much longer pipeline loop at the Battelle Pipeline Simulation Facility near Columbus, Ohio.

“We found that we could communicate over a little less than a mile with a 24-inch pipe,” Erickson says. “It did well, even around U-shaped curves.”

The wireless network could support un-tethered inspection technologies, like the RoboScan™ and Explorer™ robots, for the evaluation of pipeline conditions. The pipeline can transmit a radio signal and deliver gas at the same time, Erickson says.

“The robots would try to detect a problem within a pipeline before it became a problem,” Erickson adds. “There could be hundreds of these miniature robots that reside in the nation’s pipelines, roaming and looking for deterioration.”

The robots can currently send back visuals from inside the pipeline as well as conduct electronic scans of the pipe. Eventually, the robots would not only inspect but also repair pipelines, Erickson says.

“This is even more important in the northeast, where it’s denser,” Erickson says. “Repairing pipelines there can be difficult because the pipes are often under buildings. The robots may one day be able to fix the problem without having to dig down to the pipeline.”

Working with Erickson on the project were Dr. Shari Dunn-Norman, associate professor of geological sciences and engineering; Dr. Ann Miller, the Cynthia Tang Missouri Distinguished Professor of Computer Engineering; Dr. Keith Stanek, professor of electrical and computer engineering; and Dr. Cheng-Hsaio Wu, professor of electrical and computer engineering.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Missouri-Rolla. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Missouri-Rolla. "UMR Study Finds Gas Pipelines Could Serve As Wireless Links." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 December 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051215084036.htm>.
University Of Missouri-Rolla. (2005, December 15). UMR Study Finds Gas Pipelines Could Serve As Wireless Links. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051215084036.htm
University Of Missouri-Rolla. "UMR Study Finds Gas Pipelines Could Serve As Wireless Links." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051215084036.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) — Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) — Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins