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Laser Scanning for Pipeline Inspection

Above Water Laser Scanning

A Laser Profiler can be used for pipeline inspection in a wide range of applications including steel, plastic, clay and cast-iron pipes, concrete cavities, epoxy coated structures and ducting.

Typically, the laser profiler measures internal shapes and a profile is created using a laser triangulation probe that is rotated through 360-degrees. The angle of the probe is recorded by an optical encoder. More than 1000 measurements can be recorded per second. A typical profile might consist of 500 – 2000 measurements and takes about three seconds to collect. Variations in surface colour can be considered automatically, allowing the Laser Profiler to measure objects from black to white.

An internal inclinometer for vertical profiles ensures that all profiles can be referred to vertical regardless of the rotation of the device.

A Laser Profiler generates a point cloud. Technically a point cloud is a data base containing points in three-dimensional coordinate system. For pipeline condition assessment the important thing is that point cloud is a very accurate digital record of the internal surface of a pipeline. It is saved in form of a very large number of points that cover pipeline surfaces of a sensed object.

A Laser Profile of a pipe can identify characteristics such as ovality, cracks, cavitation or missing bricks. In comparative mode, the information can indicate the extent of deformation over a period of time or the thickness of coatings (e.g. epoxy) in ‘before and after’ measurements. The system can also be used to create inventories (like measurements of pipe sizes for relining) and to survey internal structures for replacement and modification. Plastic pipes can be surveyed to assess whether the pipe has been bent at too great an angle, which may lead to problems in the future.

 
Laser Pipeline Profiles

Underwater Laser Scanners for Tunnel Inspection

Water tunnels will gradually deteriorate over time, resulting in structural distress. Acquiring comprehensive knowledge of a tunnel’s condition is essential for ensuring reliability. If tunnel condition assessments are not routinely performed, potential problems that threaten to interrupt power generation or water supply cannot be properly identified. 

Inspect Without Disrupting Service

In order to assess the condition and evaluate the reliability of water tunnels, the tunnels typically need to be taken out of service. Water tunnels, however, are critical infrastructure and so removing them from service for inspection causes scheduling difficulties and operational inconveniences. 
Unlike traditional inspection methods, with underwater laser scanning water tunnels can remain in service during inspection, enabling assessments to be conducted efficiently and effectively at no operational or customer inconvenience. 

Generating Dimensional Information

Underwater Laser Scanner technology can be used to generate detailed dimensional information of small features as well as overall tunnel deformations, enabling more definitive knowledge of the tunnel’s condition to be acquired. Laser Scanning generates point clouds of targets such as large pipes, tunnels, damaged structures, and other underwater objects. Scanners are simple, with configurable deployment and ease-to-use interface for rapid data acquisition. No user calibration required.

Deploying Underwater Laser Scanners

Laser Scanner technology is available in compact configuration and can be deployed by divers, ROVs, crawlers, centralisers, and frames. The range and size make it perfect for projects that are small in scale but require maximum detail.

 
 Underwater Laser Scanner technology can be used to obtain a detailed understanding of water tunnel current condition.
 
 Deployment of Underwater Laser Scanner technology into a water intake tunnel.


Contact UVS to find out more about applications of laser scanning for pipeline inspection.

 
 Underwater Laser Scanner technology can be used to obtain a detailed understanding of water tunnel current condition.
 
 Deployment of Underwater Laser Scanner technology into a water intake tunnel.