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Sensors (Basel). 2016 Apr 21;16(4). pii: E567. doi: 10.3390/s16040567.

A Novel Method to Enhance Pipeline Trajectory Determination Using Pipeline Junctions.

Author information

1
MMSS Research Group, Geomatics Engineering Department, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. NW. Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada. hasahli@ucalgary.ca.
2
MMSS Research Group, Geomatics Engineering Department, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. NW. Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada. elsheimy@ucalgary.ca.

Abstract

Pipeline inspection gauges (pigs) have been used for many years to perform various maintenance operations in oil and gas pipelines. Different pipeline parameters can be inspected during the pig journey. Although pigs use many sensors to detect the required pipeline parameters, matching these data with the corresponding pipeline location is considered a very important parameter. High-end, tactical-grade inertial measurement units (IMUs) are used in pigging applications to locate the detected problems of pipeline using other sensors, and to reconstruct the trajectories of the pig. These IMUs are accurate; however, their high cost and large sizes limit their use in small diameter pipelines (8″ or less). This paper describes a new methodology for the use of MEMS-based IMUs using an extended Kalman filter (EKF) and the pipeline junctions to increase the position parameters' accuracy and to reduce the total RMS errors even during the unavailability of above ground markers (AGMs). The results of this new proposed method using a micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS)-based IMU revealed that the position RMS errors were reduced by approximately 85% compared to the standard EKF solution. Therefore, this approach will enable the mapping of small diameter pipelines, which was not possible before.

KEYWORDS:

INS; Kalman Filter; PIG; PLJ; inertial measurement unit; pipeline junctions

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