Acoustic-based Technology to Detect Buried Pipes

The main objective is to improve performance of the current acoustic locator to detect multiple buried pipes, integrate components into a pre-commercial device, and test at gas utility sites. In the past, Gas Technology Institute (GTI) and SoniVerse Inc (SVI) with the support from Operations Technology Development, NFP (OTD) has developed an acoustic-technology-based technology to detect buried natural gas pipes, with emphasize on detecting buried PE pipes. The concept is to send the acoustic signal into the ground and detect reflected signal from the pipe at the ground level. The device has been referred as an Emulator, and has been successfully tested in the laboratory and at several utility locations under variety of field conditions to detect both metal and PE pipes buried up to 5 feet. The current Emulator consists of a laptop computer, off-the-shelf data acquisition module, high power class D amplifier, deep cycle car battery, and exchangeable sensor modules. The project will improve, develop and build an integrated, hand-held device - pre-commercial unit - to detect buried pipes. The integrated device will be tested at field sites. The detection of buried natural gas pipes, especially PE pipe, will assist the gas industry and pipe locator companies to locate pipes before excavations/construction. This will reduce the third party damages to the underground utilities and increase safety of the natural gas distribution system.


  • 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
  • Project Managers:

    Licari, Frank

  • Performing Organizations:

    Operations Technology Development NFP

    1700 South Mount Prospect Road
    Des Plaines, IL  United States  60018
  • Principal Investigators:

    Doessler, Maureen

  • Start Date: 20100930
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20120109
  • Source Data: RiP Project 31141

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01492398
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: DTPH56-10-T-000020
  • Files: RiP
  • Created Date: Sep 7 2013 1:00AM