EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C547365/1
Title: Mapping the Underworld: Buried Asset Location, Indentification and Condition Assessment using a Multi-Sensor Approach
Principal Investigator: Rogers, Professor CDF
Other Investigators:
Redfern, Dr MA Saul, Professor AJ Muggleton, Dr J
Atkins, Mr P Pennock, Dr S Chapman, Professor DN
Brennan, Professor MJ Swingler, Professor S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Civil Engineering
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 April 2005 Ends: 31 March 2009 Value (£): 500,188
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Acoustics Construction Ops & Management
Ground Engineering Information & Knowledge Mgmt
Instrumentation Eng. & Dev. Pavement Engineering
Urban & Land Management Water Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Construction Environment
Transport Systems and Vehicles Water
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The problems associated with inaccurate location of buried pipes and cables have been very serious for many years and are getting worse as a result of increasing traffic congestion in the UK's major urban areas. These problems were highlighted at the first of the workshops hosted by the EPSRC Engineering Programme Network in Trenchless Technology and subsequently at a number of meetings with those in the industry and elsewhere who are either most affected or most able to make improvements (i.e. the stakeholders). Following significant lobbying by the industry and an acknowledgement of the general research needs by the government, EPSRC chose this topic to be the subject of its first Ideas Factory (or Sand Pit). The Ideas Factory / Sand Pit was a four-day meeting at which researchers from a wide variety of subject disciplines were introduced to the problem and allowed to formulate and refine different potential solutions - the analogy being that the solutions were sand castles, which were built, knocked down and rebuilt until the best sand castle was created. The Sand Pit identified a need for a multi-sensor location tool that could locate buried pipes and cables, as well as a need to research into techniques that would allow the resulting data to be handled, stored, mapped and made available to those who need it, and that would allow devices to be attached to newly laid pipes that could remotelyinterrogated so that they could be located in the future.This research proposal addresses the first of these research needs. It aims to assess the feasibility of a range of potential technologies that can be combined in a single device to determine the location of buried pipes and cables. The results will be analysed in depth to see whether the buried pipes and cables can also be identified, and even whether their condition can bee assessed. Two approaches will be adopted for deploying the device: from the surface looking downwards (which would be most easily carried out, but which faces the complication that the signals will usually need to penetrate through the complex layers of different materials that make up road structures) and from the inside of an underground pipe looking outwards (i.e. mounted on a robotic sledge that is fed into a pipeline or sewer).
Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL: http://www.mappingtheunderworld.ac.uk/
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.bham.ac.uk