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INESC TEC develops technology that avoids environmental disasters due to leakage of fuel

A group of researchers from INESC TEC’s Centre for Telecommunications and Multimedia (CTM) developed a technology that will enable to remotely and continuously monitor submerged hoses. What was the result? Preventive maintenance and leakage detection, thus avoiding potential environmental disasters. This wireless communication solution, based on magnetic induction and multi-hop communications, is a pioneer on a global scale. For this reason, two patent applications were already submitted.

The goal was to develop an underwater wireless communication solution that would allow to monitor the submerged hoses that are used in fluid transportation, including crude oil and salt water, between ships and oil refineries on the ground and in the oil platforms in high seas.

The technology, known as UnWSN (Underwater Wireless Sensor Network), allows to remotely monitor submerged hoses up to 150 metres of length, over several years, without having to replace the batteries of the communication nodes.

“Currently, the monitoring of these hoses is made by divers, which implies costs associated with the hiring of specialised human resources. In addition to this, this monitoring is limited to shallow waters and it’s made on a monthly basis. The developed technology allows the ongoing remote monitoring with significantly lower costs, and it’s applicable both in shallow waters and deepwater”, explains Rui Campos, Coordinator of CTM’s wireless network area.

In the future, the idea is that the developed technology can be integrated in hoses that are used by companies for fluid transportation, for example, in crude oil transfer between ships and oil refineries on the ground.

The INESC TEC’s team that was responsible for the development of this technology was composed of: Filipe Teixeira, Hugo Santos, Luís Pessoa, Rui Campos and Tiago Oliveira.


The researchers mentioned in this news piece are associated with INESC TEC.


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