Corrosion monitoring along infrastructures using distributed fiber optic sensing

Khalil B. Alhandawi, Nader Vahdati, Oleg Shiryayev, Lydia Lawand

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Pipeline Inspection Gauges (PIGs) are used for internal corrosion inspection of oil pipelines every 3-5 years. However, between inspection intervals, rapid corrosion may occur, potentially resulting in major accidents. The motivation behind this research project was to develop a safe distributed corrosion sensor placed inside oil pipelines continuously monitoring corrosion. The intrinsically safe nature of light provided motivation for researching fiber optic sensors as a solution. The sensing fiber's cladding features polymer plastic that is chemically sensitive to hydrocarbons within crude oil mixtures. A layer of metal, used in the oil pipeline's construction, is deposited on the polymer cladding, which upon corrosion, exposes the cladding to surrounding hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbon's interaction with the cladding locally increases the cladding's refractive index in the radial direction. Light intensity of a traveling pulse is reduced due to local reduction in the modal capacity which is interrogated by Optical Time Domain Reflectometery. Backscattered light is captured in real-Time while using time delay to resolve location, allowing real-Time spatial monitoring of environmental internal corrosion within pipelines spanning large distances. Step index theoretical solutions were used to calculate the power loss due changes in the intensity profile. The power loss is translated into an attenuation coefficient characterizing the expected OTDR trace which was verified against similar experimental results from the literature. A laboratory scale experiment is being developed to assess the validity of the model and the practicality of the solution.

Original languageBritish English
Title of host publicationSensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2016
EditorsJerome P. Lynch
ISBN (Electronic)9781510600447
StatePublished - 2016
EventSensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2016 - Las Vegas, United States
Duration: 21 Mar 201624 Mar 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceSensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLas Vegas


  • Corrosion moni-Toring
  • Distributed sensing
  • Light Intensity field solutions
  • Multi-mode fibers
  • Oil pipelines
  • Optical time domain reectometry
  • Pipeline integrity management
  • Polymer clad silica fibers


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