School of Engineering
National Natural Science Foundation of China.
Chinese Academy of Sciences, CAS.
Underground pipelines are vital means of transporting fluid resources like water, oil and gas. The process of locating buried pipelines of interest is an essential prerequisite for pipeline maintenance and repair. Acoustic pipe localization methods, as effective trenchless detection techniques, have been implemented in locating underground utilities and shown to be very promising in plastic pipeline localization. This paper presents a comprehensive review of current acoustic methods and recent advances in the localization of buried pipelines. Investigations are conducted from multiple perspectives including the wave propagation mechanism in buried pipe systems, the principles behind each method along with advantages and limitations, representative acoustic locators in commercial markets, the condition of buried pipes, as well as selection of preferred methods for locating pipelines based on the applicability of existing localization techniques. In addition, the key features of each method are summarized and suggestions for future work are proposed. Acoustic methods for locating underground pipelines have proven to be useful and effective supplements to existing localization techniques. It has been highlighted that the ability of acoustic methods to locate non-metallic objects should be of particular practical value. While this paper focuses on a specific application associated with pipeline localization, many acoustic methods are feasible across a wide range of underground infrastructures.
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