Airborne LIDAR Pipeline Inspection System (ALPIS) Mapping Tests

The Airborne LIDAR Pipeline Inspection System (ALPIS) is an airborne remote sensing system for detecting leaks associated with natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines. ALPIS uses differential LIDAR, (Light Detection and Ranging), to detect the presence and concentration of hydrocarbons in the atmosphere. The system employs a digital camera and a global positioning system (GPS) to provide visual, cartographic representations of surveyed areas. Data collected with ALPIS can be incorporated into a geographic information system (GIS) to create mapping databases. Project goals are to achieve survey speeds of up to 150 miles per hour and cost equal to or less than much slower survey methods currently available. Once ALPIS is completed, pipeline operators will have at their disposal a fast, efficient, and accurate tool for detecting and mapping natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline leaks. ALPIS will also allow operators to survey their pipelines much more quickly than is possible with conventional technologies. In addition, cost per mile of pipeline surveyed is also expected to be comparable to or below that associated with currently available technologies. Future activity in the ALPIS project is aimed at moving the technology from an engineering research prototype to a commercialized leak detection and mapping system that the pipeline industry can use. Therefore, a major objective is to determine the system's reliability and accuracy in locating and mapping leaks associated with natural gas pipelines. This requires the LIDAR sensor to locate a high percentage of leaks that can be verified by ground surveys while minimizing false positive detection. To accomplish these goals, future work will involve upgrading some of the hardware and software associated with ALPIS and performing flight tests in coordination with the pipeline industry.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

    U.S. Department of Transportation
    East Building, 2nd Floor 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Performing Organizations:

    LaSen and U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory

  • Principal Investigators:

    Johnson, Bruce

  • Start Date: 20010401
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20090417
  • Source Data: RiP Project 35228

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01492385
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: DTRS56-01-X-0023
  • Files: RiP
  • Created Date: Sep 7 2013 1:00AM