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The University of Southampton
Engineering

Research project: Combining Steady state and Transient Methods for Acoustic Leak Detection

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Leakages from pipes presents a major challenge in the water industry, as they can have disastrous economic, environmental, and social consequences. Because of dwindling water resources and rising demand for water, reduction of leakage losses is one of the issues at the forefront of sustainable development. To tackle this issue, the UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) has initiated a number of projects focused on combating the problems of leakages in water distribution networks. One of such projects is the Zero Leakage 2050 Initiative, which aims to address one of UKWIR’s ‘Big Questions’: “How can we achieve zero leakage in a sustainable way by 2050?” This PhD project, which focuses on the study of acoustic leak signals and development of robust signal processing methods for their analysis, feeds directly into the Zero Leakage 2050 Initiative. The major aim of the project is the development of leak detection methods based on the simultaneous analysis of transient and steady state leak signals. This will help to address the existing research gap in the industrial application of transient analysis for leak detection and localisation. Although transient signals are ubiquitous in water distribution networks, they are not widely exploited for practical leak detection, despite the plethora of theoretical and experimental studies demonstrating this possibility. Most of the existing acoustic leak detection methods depend on the acquisition and analysis of steady-state signals, while neglecting the transient signals, which may provide additional information about the size and position of the leak. The project is expected to make an important contribution in the development of more reliable leak detection systems and sensors by combining the advantages of both steady-state and transient methods.

Sponsored by UKWIR and PTDF Nigeria, this PhD project aims to compare and combine leak detection methods based on the analysis of leak signals obtained during and after the occurrence of leaks in the pipes: transient and steady state signals. This will help to address the existing research gap in the industrial application of transient analysis for leak detection and localisation. The objectives of the project include the following:

  • Comparison of the different spectral energy in the transient signal with the subsequent steady state signal.
  • Sensor deployment for simultaneous acquisition of transient signal and steady state signals.
  • Signal Processing methods for simultaneous detection and analysis of transient signal and steady state signals.

By exploiting steady state and transient signals simultaneously, the project aims to develop a more powerful approach.

Typical setup for acoustic leak detection.
Typical setup for acoustic leak detection.
Methods for transient onset detection.
Methods for transient onset detection.

Associated research themes

https://www.southampton.ac.uk/engineering/research/projects/zero-leakage-2050.page#staff

https://www.southampton.ac.uk/engineering/research/centres/isvr.page

https://ukwir.org/How-will-we-achieve-zero-leakage-in-a-sustainable-way-by-2050

Related research groups

Dynamics Group
Acoustics Group

Key Publication

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