Linear Approximation for Mapping Remaining Wall Thickness Using a Magnetic Flux Leakage Sensor

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Website Proceedings of the 2016 Australasian Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2016, pp. 1 - 8
Issue Date:
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Use of an unconventional sensor for mapping the remaining wall thickness of a pipe is presented in this paper. This is achieved through the development of a sensor model relating the measurements from a Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL) sensor to the environment geometry. Conventional sensors, such as laser-range finders commonly used in the robotic community are not able to infer thickness profiles of ferromagnetic structures such as water pipes when the surface is covered with corrosion products. Sensors based on electromagnetic principles or ultrasound are the methods of choice in such situations to estimate the extent of corrosion and predict eventual failure. The general relationship between readings from electromagnetic sensors and the environment geometry is governed by a set of partial differential equations (Maxwells equations). However, in the case of an MFL sensor, it is demonstrated that a linear combination of the thickness profiles can be used to adequately model the sensor signal. Parameters associated with the sensor model are obtained using a two-dimensional fi- nite element simulations. Extensive simulation results are presented to validate the proposed method by estimating a remaining wall thickness map of a realistic pipe.
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