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Innovative ad-hoc wireless sensor networks to significantly reduce leakages in underground water infrastructures

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7 Author(s)
Daniele Trinchero ; iXem Labs, Electronics Department, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy ; Riccardo Stefanelli ; Luca Cisoni ; Abdullah Kadri
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This paper presents an ICT solution to overcome the problem of water dispersion in water distribution networks. Leakage prevention and breaks identification in water distribution networks are fundamental for an adequate use of natural resources. Nowadays, all over the world, water wasting along the distribution path reaches untenable percentages (up to 80 % in some regions). Since the pipes are buried within the terrain, typically only relevant breaks are considered for restorations: excavations are very expensive and consequently the costs to identify the position of the leakage or just the position of the pipe itself are too high. To address this problem, and simplify the leakage identification process, the authors have designed a wireless network system making use of mobile wireless sensors able to detect breaks and reveal unknown tracks and monitor the pressure spectrum of the fluid flowing in the pipe. The sensors transmit the acquired data from the terrain to the surface by use of a wireless connection. On the surface ground there are stations that receive the signal, process it, and communicate with a central unit where necessary intelligent signal processing techniques are used to detect leakage sources. Compared to other leakage detection solutions already available in the market (such as: Ground penetrating radar (GPR), pure acoustic techniques and tracer gases), the proposed technique appears very efficient and much more inexpensive.

Published in:

2010 ITU-T Kaleidoscope: Beyond the Internet? - Innovations for Future Networks and Services

Date of Conference:

13-15 Dec. 2010