Location of buried plastic pipes by multi-agent support based on GPR images

Autores UPV


This work focuses on the generation of tools to aid inspection and identify buried plastic pipes in water supply systems (WSS). In our study we use ground penetrating system (GPR) images as a non-destructive method of obtaining information without altering the system conditions and the environmental characteristics. A viability study for extracting features, and an approach to the above-mentioned application based on multi-agent systems are addressed in this paper. Firstly, we use intensive matrix manipulation of the GPR output for preprocessing the images. As a result, two matrices are produced that classify initial data based on the original radargram of the wave amplitude parameter. Then the plastic pipe characteristics that offer an enhanced likelihood of location are defined. This procedure is evaluated through two case-studies. One study corresponds to a simple case (one pipe) and the other corresponds to various pipes (made of different materials). Both cases were developed under controlled laboratory conditions. The obtained results are promising, and we show that automatic plastic pipe location has been achieved. The main contributions of the procedures proposed in this work are: firstly, highly skilled GPR prospection operators become unnecessary for plastic pipe location using GPR images; and secondly, we have opened a route to further classification that makes use of other methodologies. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.