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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 278794, 8 pages
Research Article

An Improved Negative Pressure Wave Method for Natural Gas Pipeline Leak Location Using FBG Based Strain Sensor and Wavelet Transform

1School of Municipal and Environmental Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150090, China
2Faculty of Infrastructure Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China
3Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77004, USA

Received 24 August 2013; Accepted 27 September 2013

Academic Editor: Ting-Hua Yi

Copyright © 2013 Qingmin Hou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Methods that more quickly locate leakages in natural gas pipelines are urgently required. In this paper, an improved negative pressure wave method based on FBG based strain sensors and wavelet analysis is proposed. This method takes into account the variation in the negative pressure wave propagation velocity and the gas velocity variation, uses the traditional leak location formula, and employs Compound Simpson and Dichotomy Searching for solving this formula. In addition, a FBG based strain sensor instead of a traditional pressure sensor was developed for detecting the negative pressure wave signal produced by leakage. Unlike traditional sensors, FBG sensors can be installed anywhere along the pipeline, thus leading to high positioning accuracy through more frequent installment of the sensors. Finally, a wavelet transform method was employed to locate the pressure drop points within the FBG signals. Experiment results show good positioning accuracy for natural gas pipeline leakage, using this new method.