Oil and gas infrastructures may be exposed to landslides, earthquakes, corrosion and fatigue, and to damage from thefts or vandalism, leading to leakage and failure with serious economic and ecologic consequences. For this reason, an increasing interest in applied research on monitoring and protecting pipelines (for fuel, oil and natural gas transportation) arises. Aimed at the mitigation of catastrophic effects of human and natural damage, the present paper proposes a smart real-time Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) system capable to control structural integrity continuously, focusing on the issue of spillage for thefts of fuels which are not detectable, in real-time, by the existing monitoring systems.
The system consists of a smart-pipeline containing a health monitoring integrated measurement chain, i.e. an enhanced Fiber Bragg Gratings-based fiber optics neural network on the pipes, for displacement and acceleration monitoring (gathering many other different measurements such as: ground motion, permanent ground displacement, pipeline temperature, pipeline deformation, leakage, etc.).
Specifically, the ability to measure these characteristics at hundreds of points along a single fiber and the great accuracy of each point of measure, are particularly interesting for the monitoring of structures such as pipelines in order to detect hazardous and unauthorized intrusion and damage.