Gyroscopic pipeline mapping

Gyroscopic pipeline mapping is a technique used within the utility pipeline construction and survey sectors to provide 3D geographical information of underground utility pipes and ducts.

As an autonomous Orientation Measurement Unit (OMU) is passed through a pipe or duct, a range of inertial sensors capture its change in heading, inclination, and acceleration at high frequency.

The resulting 3D profile is linked to the start- and endpoint coordinates of the pipe segment and an as-built map is created which can be immediately uploaded into any GIS-platform.

Gyroscopic mapping of underground utility pipes is used for

Damage prevention

The lack of underground utility data is a major cause of pipeline damage, injuries, death, environmental damage and delays during civil engineering projects. Gyroscopic mapping underground utilities improves the data quality of utility survey records.

Stress analysis

Pressurized pipes typically must adhere to minimum bend radius specifications. Thanks to the high frequency sampling rate, the standard bend radius calculation feature in the Reduct gyroscopic mapping solutions instantly yields highly accurate bend radius information.

Flow management in gravity sewer systems

As the name suggest, gravity is used in most sewers and deformations resulting in localized sagging could lead to clogging of the pipe over time. That is why an inclination assessment of a newly installed sewer systems before contractor handover or at periodic intervals of existing sewer systems is essential for optimal network management.

Maintenance planning

As policy demands, all utilities have to be maintained and inspected periodically. However, the level of maintenance required may vary depending on the condition of the pipe or the soil surrounding it.

Sometimes a pipe can be traversing several types of soil or is situated in an earthquake prone area. Through periodic mapping, changes in pipeline subsidence can be detected at an early stage and maintenance dollars can be redirected to those areas where pipe movement is most severe.

Benefits of gyroscopic mapping technology

Does not require aboveground tracing or tracking

Gyro-mapping tools operate autonomously between entry and exit points.

Can map at any depth

Because tracing or tracking is not necessary, the probe can map deep laying pipes, pipes crossing underneath rivers, highways, train tracks or buildings with ease.

Unaffected by ground water level and electromagnetic interference

A significant advantage over some other locating technologies.

Takes less than one hour to perform measurement

Once the unit has run through the pipe four times. The data can be analyzed on site by uploading it to the field laptop.

Samples at high frequency.

At 100Hz (100 samples per second) gyro mapping creates a very rich data set from which accurate and highly detailed positional and bend radius information can be derived.

When is the best moment to gyro-map underground utilities?

Right after installation

Mapping a pipe right after installation is the most cost-efficient moment in a pipe’s life cycle to obtain an accurate as-built. Besides the value as an independent technology to verify the contractor’s performance, it will also help protect your pipe from 3rd party damage during its remaining operational lifetime.

Temporarily decommissioned utility pipes

For existing pipelines that have questionable as-built data, the best moment to map is during shutdowns for maintenance or repairs. The highly efficient operational procedures of gyro-mapping systems mean that the incremental shutdown time is very limited. Typically, a 500m section of pipe can be mapped in less than one hour.

Want to learn more about Gyro-mapping?

Take a look at our case studies.

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