Monitoring Subsidence Threats to Pipelines Based on Structure-from-Motion and Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Pipelines are important infrastructure assets which can be used to transport oil and gas products over a long distance. Pipelines can be classified into two categories based on their location, including buried pipelines and surface pipelines. This research focuses on surface pipelines because they are more susceptible to damage and failure. In addition to natural disasters (e.g., wildfire) and vandalism, surface pipelines are often threatened by subsidence caused by ground displacement or settlement. Traditionally, observing pipeline subsidence relies on field survey which is expensive, labor-intensive, and time-consuming, and therefore, operationally monitoring subsidence threats to pipelines is a major challenge to their management agencies. Recent advances in remote sensing, such as structure-from-motion (SfM) and small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS), provide new methods for rapid and autonomous monitoring of subsidence threats to surface pipelines at a low cost. Using high-spatial resolution aerial images acquired from sUAS as input, this research used SfM to model the 3D structure of a simulated pipeline. Three models were created to simulate a progressive subsidence event. Research results revealed that SfM and sUAS can effectively detect and quantify pipeline subsidence. Operationally, SfM and sUAS could be used to autonomously monitor subsidence threats to pipelines on a regularly basis at a low cost.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 316-325
  • Monograph Title: Construction Research Congress 2020: Computer Applications

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01761926
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784482865
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Nov 9 2020 3:02PM