The U.S. Dept of Energy Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) has developed and successfully tested a real-time pipeline damage detection and location system. This system uses porous metal resistive traces applied to the pipe to detect and locate damage. The porous metal resistive traces are sprayed along the length of a pipeline. The unique nature and arrangement of the traces allows locating the damage in real time along miles of pipe. This system allows pipeline operators to detect damage when and where it is occurring, and the decision to shut down a transmission pipeline can be made with actual real-time data, instead of conservative estimates from visual inspection above the area.

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