Sewer sensors examine the parts the inspectors cannot reach
A remote control sensing device is being developed to detect defects in sewer walls.
Using both ultrasound and laser light, digital information on the condition of the sewer walls is fed back to a computer which can be programmed to spot problems.
The research is being carried out by a team in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at King’s College London, led by Dr Kaspar Althoefer and Professor Lakmal Seneviratne. Funding is from the Swindon based Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
It is estimated that some 20 percent of the UK’s ageing sewage network is damaged in some way, leading to collapses and blockages. Many of the sewers are also too small for inspectors to get to, remote video cameras can be used but they cannot see through water and the recorded video images do not always pick up all the cracks.
The King’s team uses an ultrasound sensor to scan the area of pipe, which is below any water. “This can pick up evidence of cracks, or roots growing into the pipe, and relay it back to the base station” says Dr Althoefer. They are also using a laser system in conjunction with the video camera. Defects are indicated by changes in the laser pattern projected on to the walls.
Eventually, completely autonomous sensing machines could spend long periods in the sewer network, roaming the pipes and collecting essential information about their condition. The data could then be retrieved at regular intervals to allow engineers to improve their strategies for the repair and maintenance of the pipe network, which is vital to ensure it continues to function effectively.
Jane Reck | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...