To address pipeline safety concerns, state-run energy major GAIL and National Remote Sensing Centre, a unit of ISRO, have launched an innovative surveillance geo-portal called ‘Bhuvan-GAIL Portal’ for utilising space technology for its pipeline application.
“Despite challenges, GAIL (India) has proved space technology can be used efficiently to monitor the pipeline’s Right of Use (RoU).
“GAIL has more than 13,000 kms of pipeline network, wherein monthly monitoring of pipeline RoU is presently done via Helicopter surveys,” GAIL said in a statement.
By January 2016, GAIL would begin live satellite monitoring of its pipeline RoU. It is also seeking alternative methods such as advanced Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) which can be integrated with this system, the company said.
GAIL said it has also developed an innovative mobile application from which pictures of untoward incidents, taken from any mobile phone, can be uploaded instantly on the portal.
A report system integrated with the Bhuvan-GAIL portal can send alerts to relevant executives through SMS and e-mail, regarding the changes noted along the RoU as well as the arrival of any new satellite photos.
To establish the technical feasibility of utilising space technology for its pipeline applications, GAIL began the study with imageries from Indian satellites and later shifted to very high-resolution foreign satellites, the statement added.
Globally, pipeline safety and security is a major issue.
With recent progress in satellite-sensing technology, availability of new high-resolution satellites, object-oriented image analysis etc., there is a possibility to introduce space technology for pipeline monitoring applications, it said.
“GAIL’s R&D pilot project on satellite monitoring of pipeline RoU for the 610-kms long Dahej-Vijaipur pipeline is one such effort to keep pace with the technological advancements enabling time and cost-effective solutions.”
“The Bhuvan-GAIL portal is operated via manual as well as auto-change analysis options to monitor changes along the natural gas pipeline RoU. Change analysis can be undertaken with this technology within the RoU and Change analysis can be undertaken with this technology within the RoU and outside the RoU up to 1 km of the risk zone,” it added.