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Oil and Gas Pipeline Leak Detection Solution



The present, rapid development of the petroleum industry is increasing the demand placed on petroleum pipes. Consequently, pipeline leakages — caused by manmade or natural events — have become a major challenge for the oil and gas industry. Detecting leaks early avoids larger, more damaging spills, and helps reduce operational costs. Industry actors commonly employ ultrasonic leak detection technology, due to its efficiency and accuracy, in the non-destructive testing of pipelines in an effort to meet these challenges.

These detectors deliver excellent directivity and penetrating power, are safe and easy to use, and support long transmission distances in water. Likewise, they are ideal for hostile/hard to access environments where safety is critical. Advantech helps oil industry actors by providing the high-speed DAQ products that collect the enormous amounts of data needed for real-time ultrasound pipeline monitoring.

System Requirements

Previous oil pipeline leak/spill incidents have caused death and injury, environmental catastrophe, and tens of millions of dollars in property damage/losses. Consequently, the immediate detection of gas leaks and effective maintenance of pipelines is a major concern. 

As natural gas pipelines can stretch for thousands of kilometers, addressing these challenges requires an effective, affordable solution. Ultrasound detection devices are used in such applications, but require high-frequency sound source transmitters capable of dynamically adjusting audio energy and frequency. 

Transmitting ultrasound through the tube walls of pipelines and analyzing the data produced by sensors enables the detector to locate leaks. Facilitating this necessitates the use of high-speed data acquisition solutions that collect massive amounts of data.

System Description

Advantech combined an industrial PC with a PCIE-1840 digitizer card is used for faster acquisitions and PCI-1721 high-speed D/A control card to deliver high performance data acquisition and computing capabilities to real-time ultrasonic detection. 

This pipeline solution applied an amplifier to the PCI-1721 to engender high-frequency dynamic output and update rates of up to 10M Hz. These features enabled the solution to adjust the sound frequency in real time according to the collected signals.

The testing equipment’s sound source frequency is between 0.1 and 10MHz. Therefore, the PCIE-1840 uses high-bandwidth and 125M/s sampling rates to collect ultrasonic signal frequencies. This solution also features a sampling resolution of up to 16 bits — enough to support the accurate, real-time acquisition of ultrasonic signals.

Advantech also provided DAQNavi/SDK. This software development kit supports various programming languages and enables users to deploy a complete detection and processing system.

Project Implementation

  • MIC-7700 + MIC-75M13: 6th/7th Gen Intel® Core™ i desktop compact fanless system + 4-slot expansion i-Module with 1 xPCIe, 3 x PCI
  • PCIE-1840: 4 x ch 16-bit 125 MS/s digitizer card
  • PCI-1721: 4 x ch 12-Bit 10MHz analog output card
  • DAQNavi/SDK: Software development kit 

System Diagram


The A/D high-speed acquisition, D/A control card, and high-performance IPC were important factors in the success of this application. Likewise, Advantech played an important role in helping this project empower acquisition, control, and computing. Advantech provided the PCIE-1840, which enables high-speed ultrasonic signal acquisition; the PCI-1721 that engenders high-speed analog output control, and the MIC-7700, an efficient computing platform. 

In addition, Advantech’s DAQNavi/SDK played a significant role in this project. For example, PCIE-1840 and PCI-1721 software is open for development on DAQNavi/SDK and is 100% compatible. This enables customers to develop their system in the DAQNavi/SDK environment without additional development resources. — saving time and costs. Advantech seeks to usher in the era if industry 4.0 and to enable an intelligent planet. Advantech looks forward to working on similar projects in the future.