The University of Southampton

Magnetic Field Technologies to support Multi-Sensor Device

Applied Electromagnetism, Modelling and Simulation, Environmental modelling

Mapping the underworld (MTU) is a multi-disciplinary, multi-university, research project has been funded by EPSRC to develop the means to locate, map in 3-D and record, using a single shared platform, the position of 100% of buried utility service pipes and cables without excavation. Its research areas include:

1. Development of the multi-sensor array 2. Fusion of sensor data with asset records 3. Enhanced ground penetrating radar 4. Acoustics for pipe location 5. Low frequency electromagnetic field technologies 6. Magnetic field technologies 7. Tuning of the multi-sensor device to the ground conditions 8. Proving trials and specification of a national MTU test facility

This project is one package (WP6) of the whole MTU project. Its aims are to utilise a passive array of magnetic sensors together with advanced signal processing techniques to detect underground electricity cables and other metallic buried infrastructure, and to develop the technique so that it can be integrated in the multi-sensor device.

The work package consists of three interlinked activities: First, finite element modelling of fields from cables and the development of suitable optimisation techniques for estimating their location, using finite element implementations of Maxwell’s equations. Second, small-scale laboratory experiments to compare the theoretical results with fields from cables and adjacent metal pipes. Third, large-scale field trials in a controlled environment in the Frnakfurt Test Facility, and at different ‘live’ sites provided by the project partners.

Primary investigators

Secondary investigator

  • pw3

Associated research group

  • Electronics and Electrical Engineering
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