Active pipeline encroachment detector

Jim Ji, Andrew K. Chan, Leslie E. Olson, Harneet Singh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Of the many pipeline accident causes that occur to oil and gas pipelines, approximately 80% of all the accidents are caused by impacts (mechanical damage) to the pipeline from a digging or excavation activity. The pipeline industry indicates that clearly half of the accidents are caused due to incursion of excavating activities into the buried pipeline right of way and the excavator did not notify the pipeline company or the One Call System of the intent to conduct the excavation activity. In addition, the potential for mechanical damage to be inflicted to pipelines located in or near urban expansion areas has become a major concern for the pipeline owner/operators and government regulators charged with the safety of the community. Recent technical advances have resulted in the development of the General Electric ThreatScan system, which relies on acoustic waves traveling through the natural gas medium pipelines. However, installation and maintenance of such systems are expensive. Other security surveillance technologies also lack some critical advantages for this application, namely, cost effectiveness and sufficiently long working life. Indeed, most existing technologies such as aerial surveillance using automated drones, video cameras and infrared detectors cannot work continuously on battery for more than a few days/weeks. Therefore, low cost, long-life, self monitoring sensors are desirable for localized installation and monitoring of pipeline right-of-way.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPipelines 2009: Infrastructure's Hidden Assets - Proceedings of the Pipelines 2009 Conference
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
EventPipelines 2009 Conference, Pipelines 2009: Infrastructure's Hidden Assets - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 15 Aug 200919 Aug 2009


OtherPipelines 2009 Conference, Pipelines 2009: Infrastructure's Hidden Assets
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Building and Construction

Cite this

Ji, J., Chan, A. K., Olson, L. E., & Singh, H. (2009). Active pipeline encroachment detector. In Pipelines 2009: Infrastructure's Hidden Assets - Proceedings of the Pipelines 2009 Conference (Vol. 360, pp. 1276-1288)