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Sensors 2019, 19(3), 731; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19030731

High-Sensitivity Real-Time Tracking System for High-Speed Pipeline Inspection Gauge

1
Department of Electrical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 January 2019 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 8 February 2019 / Published: 11 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing in Oil and Gas Applications)
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Abstract

Real-time tracking of pipeline inspection gauges (PIGs) is an important aspect of ensuring the safety of oil and gas pipeline inline inspections (ILIs). Transmitting and receiving extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic signals is one of the preferred methods of tracking. Due to the increase in physical parameters of the pipeline including transportation speed, wall thickness and burial depth, the ELF magnetic signals received are short transient (1-second duration) and very weak (10 pT), making the existing above-ground-marker (AGM) systems difficult to operate correctly. Based on the short transient very weak characteristics of ELF signals studied with a 2-D finite-element method (FEM) simulation, a data fusion model was derived to fuse the envelope decay rates of ELF signals by a least square (LS) criterion. Then, a fast-decision-tree (FDT) method is proposed to estimate the fused envelope decay rate to output the maximized orthogonal signal power for the signal detection through a determined topology and a fast calculation process, which was demonstrated to have excellent real-time detection performance. We show that simulation and experimental results validated the effectiveness of the proposed FDT method, and describe the high-sensitivity detection and real-time implementation of a high-speed PIG tracking system, including a transmitter, a receiver, and a pair of orthogonal search coil sensors. View Full-Text
Keywords: high-sensitivity detection; above ground marker; pipeline inspection gauge; data fusion model; search coil sensor; ELF tracking high-sensitivity detection; above ground marker; pipeline inspection gauge; data fusion model; search coil sensor; ELF tracking
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Piao, G.; Guo, J.; Hu, T.; Deng, Y. High-Sensitivity Real-Time Tracking System for High-Speed Pipeline Inspection Gauge. Sensors 2019, 19, 731.

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