Theme 8: System knowledge generation and end user engagement

Focus

Theme 8 (led by Tait, supported by Metje and Boxall) will develop the specifications, technology requirements through close cooperation with our industry partners and other end users with who we will engage. This Theme will support testing, validation and demonstration of the pervasive autonomous sensing technology platform developed in Themes 2 – 7 to ensure that it is appropriate and properly integrated (with Theme 3). Theme 8 will also develop new algorithms with which we can use the data collected for pipe condition assessment and software to simulate hydrodynamic performance of a pipe network with developing defects. The experimental validation and demonstration proposed in Theme 8 will take place mainly in the new UKCRIC facilities at Sheffield (icair.ac.uk), Birmingham and on carefully selected field sites with support from our industry partners to guarantee safety of the robotics technology platform.

Challenges

Utilities operate large, complex pipe networks with very limited information on system connectivity and asset condition. Action can and is typically only be taken once failure occurs and performance is compromised. The first key challenge is to develop a timely and affordable capability to inspect and quantify performance of individual assets in large pipe networks. The second challenge is to synthesize the inspection data to enable planned intervention at an asset level and prevent unforeseen failure and unplanned repair. The third challenge is to ensure end user requirements are strongly embedded in this PG so that pervasive data can be transformed into knowledge that is actionable to prevent failures.