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Water 2017, 9(10), 731; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9100731

The Free-Swimming Device Leakage Detection in Plastic Water-filled Pipes through Tuning the Wavelet Transform to the Underwater Acoustic Signals

1
State Key Laboratory of Industrial Control Technology, College of Control Science and Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
2
Institute of Artificial Intelligence, College of Computer Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
3
Department of Electronic Engineering, University College of Engineering and Technology, Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Punjab 63100, Pakistan
4
Department of Computer Systems Engineering, University College of Engineering and Technology, Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Punjab 63100, Pakistan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 8 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 23 September 2017
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Abstract

The conventional fixed acoustic sensors leak detection methods have been demonstrated to be very practical for locating leakages in water distribution pipelines. However, these methods demand proper installation of sensors, and therefore cannot be implemented on buried long water distribution pipelines for condition assessment, early leak detection, and the estimation of leak size effect. Due to these limitations, a free-swimming device is developed. The free-swimming device with the potential of high acoustic sensitivity is capable of detecting the small underwater leakages in the plastic water-filled pipes. Despite the fact that a number of factors influence the underwater acoustic signals, such as water flow noise. Therefore, the interpretation of the leakage and influence of leakage size is considerably challenging from the underwater measured signals. The new method is proposed for reliable leakage detection by tuning the wavelet transform to underwater water acoustic signals. In this method, firstly, Short-Time Fourier Transforms (STFT) of underwater acoustic signals over a relatively long time-interval is monitored to capture the leakage-signals signature. The captured signals efficiently lead in the selection of mother wavelet (tuned wavelet) for the excellent signal localization in the time-frequency domain. Finally, the acoustic signals are analyzed in the tuned wavelet transform to detect the events. In this paper, the practical application of the proposed method, the controlled experiments are designed, and acoustic signals are collected from an experimental setup by launching the free-swimming device. The measured acoustic signals are used to identify the leakage-signals signature from unwanted interfering signals (instantaneous pipe vibrations, water flow noise, pipe's natural frequencies, and background noise). The evaluation of results validated that the free-swimming device and the tuned wavelet transform together can efficiently lead to reliable underwater leakage detection, as well as the influence of the leakage size in plastic water-filled pipes. View Full-Text
Keywords: acoustic sensors; acoustic signals; free-swimming device; localization; leakage detection; tuned wavelet acoustic sensors; acoustic signals; free-swimming device; localization; leakage detection; tuned wavelet
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Kumar, D.; Tu, D.; Zhu, N.; Shah, R.A.; Hou, D.; Zhang, H. The Free-Swimming Device Leakage Detection in Plastic Water-filled Pipes through Tuning the Wavelet Transform to the Underwater Acoustic Signals. Water 2017, 9, 731.

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