GAIL to launch satellite surveillance of gas pipeline
27 November 2015
State-owned gas utility GAIL India on Thursday said it has launched a satellite surveillance portal to monitor its 13,000 km of gas pipeline network with a view to address security concerns.
The move follows an unnoticed corrosion in its pipeline in Andhra Pradesh causing gas leakage and a massive fire in East Godavari district in June 2014, killing at least 18 people.
"GAIL in collaboration with National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), a unit of Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), has launched an innovative surveillance geo-portal called 'Bhuvan-GAIL portal' utilising space technology for its pipelines," the company said in a statement.
The company believes space technology can be efficiently used for monitoring the pipeline Right of Use (RoU). It has over 13,000-km of pipeline network wherein monthly monitoring of pipeline ROU at present is being carried out through helicopter surveys.
The portal is operated with manual as well as auto-change analysis options to monitor the changes along natural gas pipeline Right of Use (RoU). The change analysis can be made with the help of this technology within the ROU and also outside the ROU up to 1 km risk zone.
"GAIL will start live satellite monitoring of the pipeline RoU by January 2016 and is also looking for alternative methods like advance Unmanned Ariel Vehicle (UAV) which can also be integrated with this system," the statement said.
GAIL also developed an application from which the pictures taken locally from any mobile describing the actual scenario can be uploaded instantly to the portal.
"A report system integrated with this Bhuvan-GAIL portal can send alerts to the relevant executives via SMS and email regarding the changes noted along the ROU and also arrival of any new satellite imagery," it said.
To establish the technical feasibility of utilising space technology for its pipeline applications, GAIL started the study with Imageries from Indian satellites and later shifted to very high resolution foreign satellites.
Pipeline security is a major issue across the world and with recent progress in satellite sensing technology, availability of new high resolution satellites and object oriented image analysis, there is a possibility to introduce space technology for pipeline monitoring applications.
GAIL did pilot project on satellite monitoring on its 610 km Dahej-Vijaipur pipeline.