This paper summarizes recommended procedures for evaluation and synthesis of geometry data from pipelines subjected to repeat in-line inspections (ILI) using strapdown Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) tools. The paper provides an overview of IMU tool instrumentation (gyroscopes, accelerometers and odometers), a brief summary of IMU tool data processing and discusses IMU tool sensitivity and accuracy specifications. The paper also provides a review of the approaches that are used to identify ground movement signatures in IMU data profiles. Based on a single IMU survey, it can be difficult to determine with certainty if a given bending strain feature was induced during construction of the pipeline (e.g., by conforming the pipeline profile to an uneven trench profile) or was the result of post-construction movement of the pipeline (e.g., due to geohazards along the alignment such as landslides, karst, etc.). Because such a large percentage of vendor identified bending strain anomalies in IMU surveys are the result of construction, comparison of pipeline geometry changes between two (or more) inertial inspections is normally a more reliable method of identifying areas of actual post-construction movement of the pipeline. This is because a high degree of repeatability is observed in overlays of the pipeline geometry data signatures obtained from different IMU surveys at construction-induced bending features whereas the geometry signals associated with real pipeline movement frequently exhibit change patterns in out-of-straightness, pitch and heading and curvature/bending strain profiles that correspond to increasing pipe curvature and deformation. The primary focus of this paper is to summarize recommended data deliverables and plots of three-dimensional pipeline geometry profile data from different IMU tool surveys at vendor-identified bending strain anomalies including multi-panel overlay plot packages as well as survey-to-survey difference or change profiles that greatly assist in distinguishing if the feature is the result of construction or due to post-construction movement and to aid in the evaluation of pipeline deformation states.

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