Node Localization in Robotic Sensor Networks for Pipeline Inspection


Robotic sensor networks provide an effective approach for underground pipeline inspection. Such networks are comprised of sensor nodes (SNs) and relay nodes (RNs) carried by robots for information sensing and Communication, and can perform correct and realtime inspection, especially in adverse environments. SN localization is critical in such networks as a result of localization results can be used not only for locating and pinpointing leaks, but conjointly for maneuvering mobile SNs in a very pipeline of advanced configuration. But, both the underground operational atmosphere and the limited resources of the SNs create significant challenges for SN localization. This paper presents algorithms for SN localization in robotic sensor networks for underground pipeline inspection. Specifically, self-localization of underground in-pipe SNs were investigated by taking under consideration SN movement dynamics, and using the measurements of the SN's velocity and therefore the received signal strength (RSS) of the radio signal from aboveground RNs. Relying on the provision of the RSS at the SN, totally different localization algorithms based on the Kalman filter are proposed for various eventualities. Simulation results show the efficacy of the proposed algorithms. The framework also provides insight into the design of robotic sensor networks for the inspection and maintenance of other varieties of pipeline systems, like oil and gas pipelines.

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