A wireless sensor network-based infrastructure for real-time and online pipeline inspection

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45 Scopus citations


The aim of this paper is to present a secure wireless sensor network-based infrastructure for fast and accurate detection of eventual leaks that might occur in multiphase pipelines (i.e., pipelines which carry simultaneously more than one fluid). The system is scalable to monitor long distances of pipelines. It consists of a newly designed low-cost pipeline set which is composed of an inner pipe that carries the multiphase fluid, surrounded by a second outer pipe that holds the leak detection unit. This latest comprises an air-ultrasonic sensor which continuously senses the presence of the leak. The location of the leak is determined by a bidirectional microphone. Both these sensors are interfaced to a wireless sensor module which performs control, signal processing, and transmission tasks. Hence, the second contribution of this paper is to provide a new secure and reliable communication protocol that takes into consideration the nature of the network in terms of packets patterns and hardware constraints of the communicating nodes. Online tests in a laboratory scale flow loop indicate that the system is capable to accurately determine the location of the leak and its rate (in 1/min) in fast response time for different scenarios of leaks.

Original languageBritish English
Article number5784287
Pages (from-to)2966-2972
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2011


  • Leak detection
  • security protocol
  • ultrasonic sensor
  • wireless sensor network


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