Automatic detection and verification of pipeline construction features with multi-modal data

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Conference Proceeding
IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2014, pp. 3116 - 3122
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© 2014 IEEE. Assessment of the condition of underground pipelines is crucial to avoid breakages. Autonomous in-line inspection tools provided with Non-destructive Technology (NDT) sensors to assess large sections of the pipeline are commonly used for these purposes. An example of such sensors based on Eddy currents is the Remote Field Technology (RFT). A crucial step during in-line inspections is the detection of construction features, such as joints and elbows, to accurately locate and size specific defects within pipe sections. This step is often performed manually with the aid of visual data, which results in slow data processing. In this paper, we propose a generic framework to automate the detection and verification of these construction features using both NDT sensor data and visual images. Firstly, supervised learning is used to identify the construction features in the NDT sensor signals. Then, image processing is employed to verify the selection. Results are presented with data from a RFT tool, for which a specialised descriptor has been designed to characterise and classify its signal features. Furthermore, the construction feature is displayed in the image, once it is identified in the RFT data and detected in the visual data. A visual odometry algorithm has been implemented to locate the visual data with respect to the RFT data. About 800 meters of these multi-modal data are evaluated to test the validity of the proposed approach.
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