Mobile Hybrid LiDAR & Infrared Sensing for Natural Gas Pipeline Monitoring
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Mobile Hybrid LiDAR & Infrared Sensing for Natural Gas Pipeline Monitoring

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      Mobile hybrid LiDAR and infrared sensing for natural gas pipeline monitoring, final report.
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      The natural gas distribution system in the U.S. has a total of 1.2 million miles of mains and about 65 million service lines as of 2012 [1]. This distribution system consists of various material types and is subjected to various threats which vary according to these material types, age, locations, and operational characteristics of the pipeline. This distribution system is subjected to multiple threats which result in various potential damages based on material type, age, location, and operational characteristics of the pipeline. Among other things, natural disasters are rising threats to the integrity of natural gas systems. For example, threats due to natural forces (e.g., landslides, erosion, floods, earthquakes, and other environmental hazards) contributed to about 8.6 percent of these incidents in 2015 [1]. There is growing concern in the United States about managing this vast network of pipelines as weather systems become increasingly aggressive and natural disasters become more frequent. During natural disasters such as hurricane and floods, pipelines can rupture and break due to permanent ground displacement, landslide, and collapsing building structures. This damage can cause significant post-disaster catastrophes such as fires, explosions, personal property loss, and environmental pollution. timely assessment of pipeline integrity is critical to prevent further post-disaster damages. However, such assessment is currently hampered by a) the lack of data sufficient for quantifying changes in pipeline conditions and their built environment, and b) the lack of data-driven risk models that identify high risk pipe segments after a disaster. This project is directed at exploring the integration of several remote-sensing technologies and developing dedicated data processing and decision support tools that would allow pipeline operators to monitor changes in the built environment (structures, terrain, etc.) adjacent to pipelines after a natural disaster and to allow operators to assess the potential for increased risk of failure. This project is a joint collaboration between Rutgers’ Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation and Gas Technology Institute. The overall goal of this project is to: (1) provide new remote-sensing capabilities for pipeline performance after natural disasters; (2) develop the ability to detect changes and anomalies in the environment which could indicate threats to pipelines; and (3) develop GIS-based pipeline risk-assessment tools to identify and rank high risks.
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