CAPACITIVE TOMOGRAPHY FOR THE LOCATION OF PLASTIC PIPE

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Throughout the utility industry, there is high interest in subsurface imaging of plastic, ceramic, and metallic objects because of the cost, reliability, and safety benefits available in avoiding impacts with the existing infrastructure and in reducing inappropriate excavations. Industry interest in locating plastic pipe has resulted in funding available for the development of technologies that enable this imaging. Gas Technology Institute (GTI) proposes to develop a compact and inexpensive capacitive tomography imaging sensor that takes the form of a flat plate or flexible mat that can be placed on the ground to image objects embedded in the soil. A compact, ... continued below

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55 pages

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Huber, Brian J. October 30, 2002.

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Description

Throughout the utility industry, there is high interest in subsurface imaging of plastic, ceramic, and metallic objects because of the cost, reliability, and safety benefits available in avoiding impacts with the existing infrastructure and in reducing inappropriate excavations. Industry interest in locating plastic pipe has resulted in funding available for the development of technologies that enable this imaging. Gas Technology Institute (GTI) proposes to develop a compact and inexpensive capacitive tomography imaging sensor that takes the form of a flat plate or flexible mat that can be placed on the ground to image objects embedded in the soil. A compact, low-cost sensor that can image objects through soil could be applied to multiple operations and will produce a number of cost savings for the gas industry. In a stand-alone mode, it could be used to survey an area prior to excavation. The technology would improve the accuracy and reliability of any operation that involves excavation by locating or avoiding buried objects. An accurate subsurface image of an area will enable less costly keyhole excavations and other cost-saving techniques. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) has been applied to this area with limited success. Radar requires a high-frequency carrier to be injected into the soil: the higher the frequency, the greater the image resolution. Unfortunately, high-frequency radio waves are more readily absorbed by soil. Also, high-frequency operation raises the cost of the associated electronics. By contrast, the capacitive tomography sensor uses low frequencies with a multiple-element antenna to obtain good resolution. Low-frequency operation lowers the cost of the associated electronics while improving depth of penetration. The objective of this project is to combine several existing techniques in the area of capacitive sensing to quickly produce a demonstrable prototype. The sensor itself will take the form of a flat array of electrodes that can be inexpensively fabricated using printed circuit board techniques. The image resolution is proportional to the number and spacing of the electrodes in the array. Measuring the complex impedance between adjacent electrodes at multiple frequencies forms the image. Simple location of plastic pipe with a two-electrode array has already been demonstrated. Thus far, 4-element and 16-element sensor arrays have been fabricated and tested. The sensor arrays have been tested with buried plastic piping at GTI both in soil boxes and an outdoor facility. Sensitivity to the presence of plastic pipe in soil has been demonstrated with 2 inch, 4 inch, and 6 inch diameter pipes at depths greater than 4 feet. This sensitivity is unaffected by soil moisture conditions. A 64-element array is currently being designed to provide greater spatial resolution of buried objects.

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55 pages

Notes

OSTI as DE00809199

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  • Other Information: PBD: 30 Oct 2002

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  • Report No.: NONE
  • Grant Number: FC26-01NT41161
  • DOI: 10.2172/809199 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 809199
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc738750

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • October 30, 2002

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 18, 2015, 6:40 p.m.

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  • Dec. 16, 2016, 5:04 p.m.

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Huber, Brian J. CAPACITIVE TOMOGRAPHY FOR THE LOCATION OF PLASTIC PIPE, report, October 30, 2002; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc738750/: accessed September 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.