Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Clogged Pipes Make A Special Sound, Mathematicians Report

Date:
April 27, 2009
Source:
American Institute of Physics
Summary:
One way to find a clog under a sink is to take on the dirty job of dismantling the pipes. Now mathematicians have developed a cleaner way that hears where a blockage is located, using a technique pioneered in underwater acoustics.

One way to find a clog under a sink is to take on the dirty job of dismantling the pipes. Now mathematician Alex Tolstoy, of ATolstoy Sciences in the United States, and colleagues at the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom have developed a cleaner way that hears where a blockage is located, using a technique pioneered in underwater acoustics.

With further development, the method could be used to remotely track down problems in unpleasant areas like sewer lines.

The group built a device that -- like the echolocation used by bats and dolphins -- sends out high-pitched frequencies and listens to the sounds that bounce back. The listening device first records the profile of reflected sound coming back from an empty pipe. When the pipe is blocked, this sound profile changes. Using a signal-processing technique called matched-field processing, Tolstoy picks out the more important changes and calculates how long these frequencies took to bounce back to the two microphones on the device. This time indicates how far along in the pipe the clog is located.

The team has tested the device on a variety of different kinds of pipes -- concrete, PVC, clay -- blocked up with a different sizes and amounts of sandbags and bricks. The technique is not affected by twists and turns in the pipes. For the moment, only empty, air-filled pipes have been tested. In theory, the technique should work just as well with fluid-filled pipes, though further work would be needed to compensate for the dynamics of the fluid.

The talk "Detecting and localizing pipe changes via matched field processing" by Alex Tolstoy et alwill be presented at the 157th Acoustical Society of America Meeting to be held May 18-22 in Portland, Ore.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Institute of Physics. "Clogged Pipes Make A Special Sound, Mathematicians Report." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090424133450.htm>.
American Institute of Physics. (2009, April 27). Clogged Pipes Make A Special Sound, Mathematicians Report. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090424133450.htm
American Institute of Physics. "Clogged Pipes Make A Special Sound, Mathematicians Report." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090424133450.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) A solar cell that resembles a flower is offering a new take on green energy in Japan, where one scientist is searching for renewables that look good. Duration: 01:29 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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