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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/S016813/1
Title Pervasive Sensing for Buried Pipes
Status Started
Energy Categories Not Energy Related 75%;
Fossil Fuels: Oil Gas and Coal(Oil and Gas, Refining, transport and storage of oil and gas) 25%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 25%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Professor KV Horoshenkov
No email address given
Sch of Engineering Design and Technology
University of Bradford
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 March 2019
End Date 28 February 2025
Duration 72 months
Total Grant Value £7,290,965
Industrial Sectors Construction; Environment; Technical Consultancy; Water
Region Yorkshire & Humberside
Programme NC : Engineering, NC : ICT
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor KV Horoshenkov , Sch of Engineering Design and Technology, University of Bradford (99.988%)
  Other Investigator Professor I Robertson , Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Leeds (0.001%)
Professor R Richardson , Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds (0.001%)
Professor CDF Rogers , Infra. Engineering & Management, University of Birmingham (0.001%)
Dr N Metje , Civil Engineering, University of Birmingham (0.001%)
Dr B Drinkwater , Mechanical Engineering, University of Bristol (0.001%)
Dr AJ Croxford , Mechanical Engineering, University of Bristol (0.001%)
Dr J Boxall , Civil and Structural Engineering, University of Sheffield (0.001%)
Professor S Tait , Sch of Engineering Design and Technology, University of Bradford (0.001%)
Dr SR Anderson , Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, University of Sheffield (0.001%)
Professor LS Mihaylova , Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, University of Sheffield (0.001%)
Dr J Aitken , Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, University of Sheffield (0.001%)
Professor N Cohen , Sch of Computing, University of Leeds (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Phoenix Inspection Systems Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Dwr Cymru Welsh Water (0.000%)
Project Contact , Severn Trent Water (0.000%)
Project Contact , Thames Water Utilities Plc (0.000%)
Project Contact , Anglian Water (0.000%)
Project Contact , Network Rail Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Balfour Beatty Plc (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of Waterloo (Canada) (0.000%)
Project Contact , École Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne, France (0.000%)
Project Contact , Scottish Water (0.000%)
Project Contact , UK Water Industry Research Ltd (UKWIR) (0.000%)
Project Contact , Synthotech Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , National Infrastructure Commission (0.000%)
Project Contact , Acoustic Sensing Technology Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Aliaxis Group S.A. / N.V (0.000%)
Project Contact , Guidance Automation Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Melwell Technology & Innovation Consulting, France (0.000%)
Project Contact , Nuron Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Oxford Electromagnetic Solutions Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , RSK Environmental Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , RedZone Robotics, USA (0.000%)
Project Contact , Rioned, The Netherlands (0.000%)
Project Contact , Scoutek Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Stantec (0.000%)
Project Contact , UKSTT (United Kingdom Society for Trenchless Technology) (0.000%)
Project Contact , United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), USA (0.000%)
Project Contact , aql (0.000%)
Project Contact , UTSI Electronics Ltd (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract In Europe, the total value of sewer assets amounts to 2 trillion Euros. The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that water collection systems in the USA have a total replacement value between $1 and $2 trillion. Similar figures can be assigned to other types of buried pipe assets which supply clean water and gas. In China alone 40,000 km of new sewer pipes are laid every year. However, little is known about the condition of these pipes despite the pressure on water and gas supply utility companies to ensure that they operate continuously, safely and efficiently. In order to do this properly, the utility operator must identify the initial signs of failure and then respond to the onset of failure rapidly enough to avoid loss of potable water supply, wastewater flooding or gas escape. This is attempted through targeted inspection which is typically carried out through man-entry or with CCTV approaches, although more sophisticated (e.g. tethered) devices have been developed and are used selectively. Nevertheless, and in spite of the fact that the UK is a world leader in this research area, these approaches are slow and labour intensive, analysis is subjective, and their deployment disrupts traffic. Moreover, because these inspections are necessarily infrequent and only cover a small proportion of the pipe network, serious degradation is often missed and pipe failures occur unexpectedly, requiring emergency repairs that greatly disrupt life of the road and adjacent buried utility infrastructure.This Programme Grant proposes a radical change in terms of buried pipe sensing in order to address the issues of pipe inspection and rehabilitation. It builds upon recent advances in sensors, nano- and micro-electronics research, communication and robotic autonomous systems and aims to develop a completely new pervasive robotics sensing technology platform which is autonomous and covers the entire pipe network. These robots will be able to travel, cooperate and interrogate the pipes from the inside, detect the onset of any defects continuously, navigate to and zoom on sub-millimetre scale defects to examine them in detail, communicate and guide any maintenance equipment to repair the infrastructure at an early sign of deterioration. By being tiny, they do not present a danger of being stuck, blocking the pipe if damaged or run out of power. By being abundant, they introduce a high level of redundancy in the inspection system, so that routine inspection can continue after a loss of a proportion of the sensors in the swarm. By making use of the propagation of sonic waves and other types of sensing these robots can monitor any changes in the condition of the pipe walls, joints, valves and lateral connections; they can detect the early development and growth of sub-millimetre scale operational or structural faults and pipe corrosion. An important benefit of this sensing philosophy is that it mimics nature, i.e. the individual sensors are small, cheap andunsophisticated, but a swarm of them is highly capable and precise. This innovation will be the first of its kind to deploy swarms of miniaturised robots in buried pipes together with other emerging in-pipe sensor, navigation and communication solutions with long-term autonomy. Linked to the related previous work, iBUILD (EP/K012398), ICIF (EP/K012347) and ATU's Decision Support System (EP/K021699), this Programme Grant will create the technology that has flexibility to adapt to different systems of governance globally. This work will be done in collaboration with a number of industry partners who will help to develop a new set of requirements for the new pervasive robotic sensing platform to work in clean water, wastewater and gas pipes. They will support the formation and operation of the new research Centre of Autonomous Sensing for Buried Infrastructure in the UK and ensure that the results of this research have strong practical outcomes

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Added to Database 15/08/19