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Special Issue "Sensors for Fluid Leak Detection"

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A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Gonzalo Pajares Martinsanz

Department Software Engineering and Artificial Intelligence, Faculty of Informatics, University Complutense of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +34.1.3947546
Interests: computer vision; image processing; pattern recognition; 3D image reconstruction, spatio-temporal image change detection and track movement; fusion and registering from imaging sensors; superresolution from low-resolution image sensors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fluid leak detection is a very old problem, gas or water leaks in aerial pipes or underground pipelines are typical examples. Detection of other fluid leaks has attracted less. This is the case of early oil detection, particularly in underwater sea-lines or other chemical products.

Growing technological development of sensors, for fluid leaks detection, has greater chances of success particularly in early stages. Sometimes, sensors must be installed on multisensory platforms where leak detection is a problem but also the positioning and platform navigation. This is the case of underwater or ground vehicles exploring sea-lines or industrial plants.

This special issue is devoted to sensors devices, materials, technologies and tools for fluid leak detection in different environments such as underwater sea-lines, spillage on the sea surface or ground and aerial pipelines in buildings or industrial plants. Physical and chemical sensors or biosensors are to be considered.

These sensors could also be used as an aid for other purposes such as navigation or positioning of autonomous or remotely operated vehicles (underwater, surface, ground) under the leak detection context.

Prof. Dr. Gonzalo Pajares Martinsanz
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs).


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Published Papers (13 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Sensors for Fluid Leak Detection
Sensors 2015, 15(2), 3830-3833; doi:10.3390/s150203830
Received: 1 February 2015 / Revised: 3 February 2015 / Accepted: 5 February 2015 / Published: 5 February 2015
PDF Full-text (617 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fluid leak detection represents a problem that has attracted the interest of researchers, but not exclusively because in industries and services leaks are frequently common. Indeed, in water or gas supplies, chemical or thermal plants, sea-lines or cooling/heating systems leakage rates can cause
[...] Read more.
Fluid leak detection represents a problem that has attracted the interest of researchers, but not exclusively because in industries and services leaks are frequently common. Indeed, in water or gas supplies, chemical or thermal plants, sea-lines or cooling/heating systems leakage rates can cause important economic losses and sometimes, what it is more relevant, environmental pollution with human, animal or plant lives at risk. This last issue has led to increased national and international regulations with different degrees of severity regarding environmental conservation.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Fluid Leak Detection) Print Edition available

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle Development of a Piezoelectric Vacuum Sensing Component for a Wide Pressure Range
Sensors 2014, 14(11), 22099-22112; doi:10.3390/s141122099
Received: 23 April 2014 / Revised: 11 November 2014 / Accepted: 13 November 2014 / Published: 21 November 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (990 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, we develop a clamped–clamped beam-type piezoelectric vacuum pressure sensing element. The clamped–clamped piezoelectric beam is composed of a PZT layer and a copper substrate. A pair of electrodes is set near each end. An input voltage is applied to a
[...] Read more.
In this study, we develop a clamped–clamped beam-type piezoelectric vacuum pressure sensing element. The clamped–clamped piezoelectric beam is composed of a PZT layer and a copper substrate. A pair of electrodes is set near each end. An input voltage is applied to a pair of electrodes to vibrate the piezoelectric beam, and the output voltage is measured at the other pair. Because the viscous forces on the piezoelectric beam vary at different air pressures, the vibration of the beam depends on the vacuum pressure. The developed pressure sensor can sense a wide range of pressure, from 6.5 × 10−6 to 760 Torr. The experimental results showed that the output voltage is inversely proportional to the gas damping ratio, and thus, the vacuum pressure was estimated from the output voltage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Fluid Leak Detection) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Energy Efficient Cooperation in Underlay RFID Cognitive Networks for a Water Smart Home
Sensors 2014, 14(10), 18353-18369; doi:10.3390/s141018353
Received: 13 April 2014 / Revised: 15 September 2014 / Accepted: 23 September 2014 / Published: 30 September 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (431 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Shrinking water  resources all over the world and increasing  costs of water consumption  have prompted  water users  and distribution companies  to come up with water conserving strategies. We have proposed an energy-efficient  smart water monitoring application in [1], using low power RFIDs. In
[...] Read more.
Shrinking water  resources all over the world and increasing  costs of water consumption  have prompted  water users  and distribution companies  to come up with water conserving strategies. We have proposed an energy-efficient  smart water monitoring application in [1], using low power RFIDs. In the home environment,  there exist many primary interferences within a room, such as cell-phones,  Bluetooth  devices, TV signals, cordless phones and WiFi devices.  In order to reduce the interference  from our proposed RFID network for these primary  devices, we have proposed a cooperating  underlay  RFID cognitive network for our smart application on water.  These underlay  RFIDs should strictly adhere to the interference thresholds to work in parallel with the primary wireless devices [2].  This work is an extension of our previous  ventures proposed in [2,3], and we enhanced the previous efforts by introducing  a new system model and RFIDs.  Our proposed scheme is mutually energy efficient and maximizes the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for the RFID link, while keeping the interference levels for the primary  network below a certain threshold. A closed form expression for the probability density function (pdf) of the SNR at the destination reader/writer and outage probability are derived. Analytical results are verified through simulations. It is also shown that in comparison to non-cognitive selective cooperation,  this scheme performs  better in the low SNR region for cognitive networks. Moreover, the hidden Markov model’s (HMM) multi-level variant hierarchical hidden Markov model (HHMM) approach is used for pattern recognition and event detection for the data received for this system [4]. Using this model, a feedback and decision algorithm is also developed.  This approach has been applied  to simulated water pressure data from RFID motes, which were embedded in metallic water pipes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Fluid Leak Detection) Print Edition available
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Open AccessArticle A Vibration-Based Strategy for Health Monitoring of Offshore Pipelines’ Girth-Welds
Sensors 2014, 14(9), 17174-17191; doi:10.3390/s140917174
Received: 30 June 2014 / Revised: 8 August 2014 / Accepted: 10 September 2014 / Published: 15 September 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1712 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study presents numerical simulations and experimental verification of a vibration-based damage detection technique. Health monitoring of a submerged pipe’s girth-weld against an advancing notch is attempted. Piezoelectric transducers are bonded on the pipe for sensing or actuation purposes. Vibration of the pipe
[...] Read more.
This study presents numerical simulations and experimental verification of a vibration-based damage detection technique. Health monitoring of a submerged pipe’s girth-weld against an advancing notch is attempted. Piezoelectric transducers are bonded on the pipe for sensing or actuation purposes. Vibration of the pipe is excited by two means: (i) an impulsive force; (ii) using one of the piezoelectric transducers as an actuator to propagate chirp waves into the pipe. The methodology adopts the empirical mode decomposition (EMD), which processes vibration data to establish energy-based damage indices. The results obtained from both the numerical and experimental studies confirm the integrity of the approach in identifying the existence, and progression of the advancing notch. The study also discusses and compares the performance of the two vibration excitation means in damage detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Fluid Leak Detection) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Implementation of Ultrasonic Sensing for High Resolution Measurement of Binary Gas Mixture Fractions
Sensors 2014, 14(6), 11260-11276; doi:10.3390/s140611260
Received: 15 March 2014 / Revised: 3 June 2014 / Accepted: 12 June 2014 / Published: 24 June 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1458 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We describe an ultrasonic instrument for continuous real-time analysis of the fractional mixture of a binary gas system. The instrument is particularly well suited to measurement of leaks of a high molecular weight gas into a system that is nominally composed of a
[...] Read more.
We describe an ultrasonic instrument for continuous real-time analysis of the fractional mixture of a binary gas system. The instrument is particularly well suited to measurement of leaks of a high molecular weight gas into a system that is nominally composed of a single gas. Sensitivity < 5 × 10−5 is demonstrated to leaks of octaflouropropane (C3F8) coolant into nitrogen during a long duration (18 month) continuous study. The sensitivity of the described measurement system is shown to depend on the difference in molecular masses of the two gases in the mixture. The impact of temperature and pressure variances on the accuracy of the measurement is analysed. Practical considerations for the implementation and deployment of long term, in situ ultrasonic leak detection systems are also described. Although development of the described systems was motivated by the requirements of an evaporative fluorocarbon cooling system, the instrument is applicable to the detection of leaks of many other gases and to processes requiring continuous knowledge of particular binary gas mixture fractions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Fluid Leak Detection) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Application of Morphological Segmentation to Leaking Defect Detection in Sewer Pipelines
Sensors 2014, 14(5), 8686-8704; doi:10.3390/s140508686
Received: 13 March 2014 / Revised: 18 April 2014 / Accepted: 12 May 2014 / Published: 16 May 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (764 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As one of major underground pipelines, sewerage is an important infrastructure in any modern city. The most common problem occurring in sewerage is leaking, whose position and failure level is typically identified through closed circuit television (CCTV) inspection in order to facilitate rehabilitation
[...] Read more.
As one of major underground pipelines, sewerage is an important infrastructure in any modern city. The most common problem occurring in sewerage is leaking, whose position and failure level is typically identified through closed circuit television (CCTV) inspection in order to facilitate rehabilitation process. This paper proposes a novel method of computer vision, morphological segmentation based on edge detection (MSED), to assist inspectors in detecting pipeline defects in CCTV inspection images. In addition to MSED, other mathematical morphology-based image segmentation methods, including opening top-hat operation (OTHO) and closing bottom-hat operation (CBHO), were also applied to the defect detection in vitrified clay sewer pipelines. The CCTV inspection images of the sewer system in the 9th district, Taichung City, Taiwan were selected as the experimental materials. The segmentation results demonstrate that MSED and OTHO are useful for the detection of cracks and open joints, respectively, which are the typical leakage defects found in sewer pipelines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Fluid Leak Detection) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle On the Acoustic Filtering of the Pipe and Sensor in a Buried Plastic Water Pipe and its Effect on Leak Detection: An Experimental Investigation
Sensors 2014, 14(3), 5595-5610; doi:10.3390/s140305595
Received: 25 November 2013 / Revised: 23 December 2013 / Accepted: 2 January 2014 / Published: 20 March 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (486 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Acoustic techniques have been used for many years to find and locate leaks in buried water distribution systems. Hydrophones and accelerometers are typically used as sensors. Although geophones could be used as well, they are not generally used for leak detection. A simple
[...] Read more.
Acoustic techniques have been used for many years to find and locate leaks in buried water distribution systems. Hydrophones and accelerometers are typically used as sensors. Although geophones could be used as well, they are not generally used for leak detection. A simple acoustic model of the pipe and the sensors has been proposed previously by some of the authors of this paper, and their model was used to explain some of the features observed in measurements. However, simultaneous measurements of a leak using all three sensor-types in controlled conditions for plastic pipes has not been reported to-date and hence they have not yet been compared directly. This paper fills that gap in knowledge. A set of measurements was made on a bespoke buried plastic water distribution pipe test rig to validate the previously reported analytical model. There is qualitative agreement between the experimental results and the model predictions in terms of the differing filtering properties of the pipe-sensor systems. A quality measure for the data is also presented, which is the ratio of the bandwidth over which the analysis is carried out divided by the centre frequency of this bandwidth. Based on this metric, the accelerometer was found to be the best sensor to use for the test rig described in this paper. However, for a system in which the distance between the sensors is large or the attenuation factor of the system is high, then it would be advantageous to use hydrophones, even though they are invasive sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Fluid Leak Detection) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle A Proposed Scalable Design and Simulation of Wireless Sensor Network-Based Long-Distance Water Pipeline Leakage Monitoring System
Sensors 2014, 14(2), 3557-3577; doi:10.3390/s140203557
Received: 29 October 2013 / Revised: 27 January 2014 / Accepted: 7 February 2014 / Published: 20 February 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (780 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Anomalies such as leakage and bursts in water pipelines have severe consequences for the environment and the economy. To ensure the reliability of water pipelines, they must be monitored effectively. Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have emerged as an effective technology for monitoring critical
[...] Read more.
Anomalies such as leakage and bursts in water pipelines have severe consequences for the environment and the economy. To ensure the reliability of water pipelines, they must be monitored effectively. Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have emerged as an effective technology for monitoring critical infrastructure such as water, oil and gas pipelines. In this paper, we present a scalable design and simulation of a water pipeline leakage monitoring system using Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) and WSN technology. The proposed design targets long-distance aboveground water pipelines that have special considerations for maintenance, energy consumption and cost. The design is based on deploying a group of mobile wireless sensor nodes inside the pipeline and allowing them to work cooperatively according to a prescheduled order. Under this mechanism, only one node is active at a time, while the other nodes are sleeping. The node whose turn is next wakes up according to one of three wakeup techniques: location-based, time-based and interrupt-driven. In this paper, mathematical models are derived for each technique to estimate the corresponding energy consumption and memory size requirements. The proposed equations are analyzed and the results are validated using simulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Fluid Leak Detection) Print Edition available
Figures

Open AccessArticle Inverse Transient Analysis for Classification of Wall Thickness Variations in Pipelines
Sensors 2013, 13(12), 17057-17066; doi:10.3390/s131217057
Received: 25 October 2013 / Revised: 2 December 2013 / Accepted: 9 December 2013 / Published: 11 December 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (434 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Analysis of transient fluid pressure signals has been investigated as an alternative method of fault detection in pipeline systems and has shown promise in both laboratory and field trials. The advantage of the method is that it can potentially provide a fast and
[...] Read more.
Analysis of transient fluid pressure signals has been investigated as an alternative method of fault detection in pipeline systems and has shown promise in both laboratory and field trials. The advantage of the method is that it can potentially provide a fast and cost effective means of locating faults such as leaks, blockages and pipeline wall degradation within a pipeline while the system remains fully operational. The only requirement is that high speed pressure sensors are placed in contact with the fluid. Further development of the method requires detailed numerical models and enhanced understanding of transient flow within a pipeline where variations in pipeline condition and geometry occur. One such variation commonly encountered is the degradation or thinning of pipe walls, which can increase the susceptible of a pipeline to leak development. This paper aims to improve transient-based fault detection methods by investigating how changes in pipe wall thickness will affect the transient behaviour of a system; this is done through the analysis of laboratory experiments. The laboratory experiments are carried out on a stainless steel pipeline of constant outside diameter, into which a pipe section of variable wall thickness is inserted. In order to detect the location and severity of these changes in wall conditions within the laboratory system an inverse transient analysis procedure is employed which considers independent variations in wavespeed and diameter. Inverse transient analyses are carried out using a genetic algorithm optimisation routine to match the response from a one-dimensional method of characteristics transient model to the experimental time domain pressure responses. The accuracy of the detection technique is evaluated and benefits associated with various simplifying assumptions and simulation run times are investigated. It is found that for the case investigated, changes in the wavespeed and nominal diameter of the pipeline are both important to the accuracy of the inverse analysis procedure and can be used to differentiate the observed transient behaviour caused by changes in wall thickness from that caused by other known faults such as leaks. Further application of the method to real pipelines is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Fluid Leak Detection) Print Edition available
Figures

Open AccessArticle GPR-Based Water Leak Models in Water Distribution Systems
Sensors 2013, 13(12), 15912-15936; doi:10.3390/s131215912
Received: 17 September 2013 / Revised: 30 October 2013 / Accepted: 11 November 2013 / Published: 25 November 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (9017 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper addresses the problem of leakage in water distribution systems through the use of ground penetrating radar (GPR) as a nondestructive method. Laboratory tests are performed to extract features of water leakage from the obtained GPR images. Moreover, a test in a
[...] Read more.
This paper addresses the problem of leakage in water distribution systems through the use of ground penetrating radar (GPR) as a nondestructive method. Laboratory tests are performed to extract features of water leakage from the obtained GPR images. Moreover, a test in a real-world urban system under real conditions is performed. Feature extraction is performed by interpreting GPR images with the support of a pre-processing methodology based on an appropriate combination of statistical methods and multi-agent systems. The results of these tests are presented, interpreted, analyzed and discussed in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Fluid Leak Detection) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Optimal Sensor Placement for Leak Location in Water Distribution Networks Using Genetic Algorithms
Sensors 2013, 13(11), 14984-15005; doi:10.3390/s131114984
Received: 5 August 2013 / Revised: 19 October 2013 / Accepted: 23 October 2013 / Published: 4 November 2013
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (362 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper proposes a new sensor placement approach for leak location in water distribution networks (WDNs). The sensor placement problem is formulated as an integer optimization problem. The optimization criterion consists in minimizing the number of non-isolable leaks according to the isolability criteria
[...] Read more.
This paper proposes a new sensor placement approach for leak location in water distribution networks (WDNs). The sensor placement problem is formulated as an integer optimization problem. The optimization criterion consists in minimizing the number of non-isolable leaks according to the isolability criteria introduced. Because of the large size and non-linear integer nature of the resulting optimization problem, genetic algorithms (GAs) are used as the solution approach. The obtained results are compared with a semi-exhaustive search method with higher computational effort, proving that GA allows one to find near-optimal solutions with less computational load. Moreover, three ways of increasing the robustness of the GA-based sensor placement method have been proposed using a time horizon analysis, a distance-based scoring and considering different leaks sizes. A great advantage of the proposed methodology is that it does not depend on the isolation method chosen by the user, as long as it is based on leak sensitivity analysis. Experiments in two networks allow us to evaluate the performance of the proposed approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Fluid Leak Detection) Print Edition available
Figures

Open AccessArticle Thermal Tracking in Mobile Robots for Leak Inspection Activities
Sensors 2013, 13(10), 13560-13574; doi:10.3390/s131013560
Received: 31 July 2013 / Revised: 23 September 2013 / Accepted: 27 September 2013 / Published: 9 October 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1999 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Maintenance tasks are crucial for all kind of industries, especially in extensive industrial plants, like solar thermal power plants. The incorporation of robots is a key issue for automating inspection activities, as it will allow a constant and regular control over the whole
[...] Read more.
Maintenance tasks are crucial for all kind of industries, especially in extensive industrial plants, like solar thermal power plants. The incorporation of robots is a key issue for automating inspection activities, as it will allow a constant and regular control over the whole plant. This paper presents an autonomous robotic system to perform pipeline inspection for early detection and prevention of leakages in thermal power plants, based on the work developed within the MAINBOT (http://www.mainbot.eu) European project. Based on the information provided by a thermographic camera, the system is able to detect leakages in the collectors and pipelines. Beside the leakage detection algorithms, the system includes a particle filter-based tracking algorithm to keep the target in the field of view of the camera and to avoid the irregularities of the terrain while the robot patrols the plant. The information provided by the particle filter is further used to command a robot arm, which handles the camera and ensures that the target is always within the image. The obtained results show the suitability of the proposed approach, adding a tracking algorithm to improve the performance of the leakage detection system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Fluid Leak Detection) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Microseismic Monitoring of CO2 Injection at the Penn West Enhanced Oil Recovery Pilot Project, Canada: Implications for Detection of Wellbore Leakage
Sensors 2013, 13(9), 11522-11538; doi:10.3390/s130911522
Received: 13 June 2013 / Revised: 26 August 2013 / Accepted: 27 August 2013 / Published: 2 September 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2367 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A passive seismic monitoring campaign was carried out in the frame of a CO2-Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) pilot project in Alberta, Canada. Our analysis focuses on a two-week period during which prominent downhole pressure fluctuations in the reservoir were accompanied by
[...] Read more.
A passive seismic monitoring campaign was carried out in the frame of a CO2-Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) pilot project in Alberta, Canada. Our analysis focuses on a two-week period during which prominent downhole pressure fluctuations in the reservoir were accompanied by a leakage of CO2 and CH4 along the monitoring well equipped with an array of short-period borehole geophones. We applied state of the art seismological processing schemes to the continuous seismic waveform recordings. During the analyzed time period we did not find evidence of induced micro-seismicity associated with CO2 injection. Instead, we identified signals related to the leakage of CO2 and CH4, in that seven out of the eight geophones show a clearly elevated noise level framing the onset time of leakage along the monitoring well. Our results confirm that micro-seismic monitoring of reservoir treatment can contribute towards improved reservoir monitoring and leakage detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Fluid Leak Detection) Print Edition available

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