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Open AccessArticle

Visual Leakage Inspection in Chemical Process Plants Using Thermographic Videos and Motion Pattern Detection

1
Institute of Automation and Information Systems, Technical University of Munich, 85748 Garching, München, Germany
2
Evonik Technology and Infrastructure GmbH, 63457 Hanau, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(22), 6659; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20226659
Received: 20 October 2020 / Revised: 13 November 2020 / Accepted: 18 November 2020 / Published: 20 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligent Sensors and Computer Vision)
Liquid leakage from pipelines is a critical issue in large-scale chemical process plants since it can affect the normal operation of the plant and pose unsafe and hazardous situations. Therefore, leakage detection in the early stages can prevent serious damage. Developing a vision-based inspection system by means of IR imaging can be a promising approach for accurate leakage detection. IR cameras can capture the effect of leaking drops if they have higher (or lower) temperature than their surroundings. Since the leaking drops can be observed in an IR video as a repetitive phenomenon with specific patterns, motion pattern detection methods can be utilized for leakage detection. In this paper, an approach based on the Kalman filter is proposed to track the motion of leaking drops and differentiate them from noise. The motion patterns are learned from the training data and applied to the test data to evaluate the accuracy of the method. For this purpose, a laboratory demonstrator plant is assembled to simulate the leakages from pipelines, and to generate training and test videos. The results show that the proposed method can detect the leaking drops by tracking them based on obtained motion patterns. Furthermore, the possibilities and conditions for applying the proposed method in a real industrial chemical plant are discussed at the end. View Full-Text
Keywords: leakage detection and localization; anomaly detection; image analysis; Kalman filter; motion pattern detection; multi-object tracking leakage detection and localization; anomaly detection; image analysis; Kalman filter; motion pattern detection; multi-object tracking
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Fahimipirehgalin, M.; Vogel-Heuser, B.; Trunzer, E.; Odenweller, M. Visual Leakage Inspection in Chemical Process Plants Using Thermographic Videos and Motion Pattern Detection. Sensors 2020, 20, 6659.

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