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LOCVAS - leak tracker via surface measurements

Grant number: 20/12251-1
Support type:Research Grants - Research Partnership for Technological Innovation - PITE
Duration: March 01, 2022 - February 28, 2025
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Mechanical Engineering - Mechanics of Solids
Cooperation agreement: SABESP
Principal researcher:Fabrício César Lobato de Almeida
Grantee:Fabrício César Lobato de Almeida
Home Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia (FE). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Bauru. Bauru , SP, Brazil
City: São PauloBauru
Partner institutions: CIA SANEAMENTO BASICO DO ESTADO SAO PAULO/SIMA
Pesquisadores principais:
Fabrício César Lobato de Almeida
Assoc. researchers:Flávio José de Oliveira Morais ; Jen Muggleton ; Mahmoud Karimi ; Phillip Frederick Joseph

Abstract

Leakage in buried water pipes is a problem of great concern around the world since a large amount of water is wasted between the treatment plant and the consumers. To deal with such a problem, water companies have used some devices to localize leaks in their pipe networks. Listening devices, such as listening sticks and geophones, and leak-noise correlators are the most popular equipment used in the field by water companies. Usually, once leak noise correlators have been used to obtain an approximate location of the leak, listening sticks or geophones are used to measure the ground surface vibration to determine the location of the leak with greater accuracy. Although listening devices are effective in the hands of a skilled and experienced operator, they are single-point devices resulting in a trial and error search for the leak as they only can measure sound or vibration level which contains no directional information. Considering this limitation, the main motivation of this proposal is to improve these devices by using more than one ground surface vibration sensor, and to develop a new acoustic source localization technique to provide directional information to speed up the localization of the leak, and to avoid unnecessary removal of earth or wastage of time and money. The scope of the project consists of the development of a conceptual prototype that uses surface vibration due to noise generated by the leak in buried pipes for its detection. This new method aims to complement the cross-correlation technique when the distance between the measurement positions is long and/or when there are doubts about the position of the leak due to the signal-to-noise ratio issues. Systematic measurements will be carried out in specific test rigs where real leak conditions can be performed for this new technique to be developed. Vibration measurements conducted on the surface together with the study of the importance of orientation and types of sensors (geophone, laser and accelerometer) will be carried out. The technique will be tested and validated on different surfaces (grass, bricks and asphalt). Hence, it is expected to obtain both hardware and software robust enough to demonstrate the applicability of such emerging-novel technique at the end of this project. (AU)

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