State of the art in sensor technologies for sewer inspection

Olga Duran, Kaspar Althoefer, Lakmal D. Seneviratne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


This paper reviews the state of the art in sensors and automated inspection devices for enhanced sewer inspection. Efficiency, safety, environmental, and legislative concerns have made inspection and assessment of communal sewers a central issue to water and sewerage companies. Nowadays, the standard sewer inspection system is based on a wheeled platform on which a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera is mounted. One of the disadvantages of camera inspection systems is that they can only detect a small proportion of all possible damage in a sewer. The inspection outcome of such systems relies not only on the quality of the acquired images, but also on the off-line recognition and classification conducted by human operators. In consequence, CCTV-based platforms are frequently not effective. Infrared, microwave, optical, and ultrasonic-based sensors have been proposed to complement the existing CCTV-based approach and to improve inspection results. New inspection devices employing multiple sensors and being capable of carrying out remote sewer inspection tasks are under research.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)73-81
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


  • CCTV
  • Ground penetrating radar
  • Infrared thermography
  • Laser profilometry
  • Pipe inspection
  • Sewer inspection
  • Sonar


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