Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NESTA radar hits water leaks

14.07.2003


What would you use to try and find an underground water leak, your ears or radar? Believe it or not the only way to find water leaks involves trying to hear the hiss of the leak through a device like a stethoscope. This antiquated system could soon be a thing of the past as a fast and full-proof method using radar is being developed thanks to an investment of £76,810 from NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology & the Arts), the organisation that invests in UK creativity and innovation.



The StesT Leak Radar is the brainchild of Dr Mark Harper, who has 30 years’ experience in applied physics and geophysics. Cambridge company STesT (Structural Testing Technology) Ltd also includes Dr Martin Thompson, an engineer who has worked in the mining and energy industries since 1975, and John Sheppard, a mechanical engineer with 20 years’ experience.

The present method of finding leaks in water mains involves looking at suspected damage areas at night and narrowing down an area through acoustic detection of the hiss produced by the leak. It is finally pinpointed using the listening sticks – lengths of rod that act as stethoscopes. This final step is time consuming and error prone, with other noises often hindering the discovery of any leaks. It can easily be misled by hissing noises arising from valves, ferrules, and other obstacles to water flow.


The STesT Leak Radar aims to supplant this stage through utilising radar and control system technologies in a new and innovative way. When placed on the ground, the STesT system will provide an immediate response to whether there are any leaks beneath it. It is not misled by valve noise or other sounds.

NESTA funding, through the Invention & Innovation programme, will allow STesT Ltd to further develop a proof-of-concept prototype through building a portable miniaturised demonstrator to be used in market testing and in presenting to water companies. The technology being developed by STesT could have more far reaching applications. Its methods would be equally useful in the petrochemical industry where oil is transported great distances underground, and the system’s ability to penetrate solid bodies and detect very small movements could make it a valuable tool for searching for survivors after an earthquake. It could also have security applications, for example allowing police to determine whether a room is occupied before entering it.

Mark White, NESTA Invention and Innovation Director, said:
“NESTA is delighted to be involved in a project with such obvious social and commercial benefit. We are always on the look-out for innovative ideas for new products and services, willing to back them at the early stage that other funders seem to find difficult to handle.”

Joseph Meaney | alfa

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Fraunhofer researchers develop measuring system for ZF factory in Saarbrücken
21.11.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP

nachricht New manufacturing process for SiC power devices opens market to more competition
14.09.2017 | North Carolina State University

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Previous evidence of water on mars now identified as grainflows

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope completes final cryogenic testing

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New catalyst controls activation of a carbon-hydrogen bond

21.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>