Posted Apr 10, 2017

Heavy rains and flooding inundated parts of Latin America in the last few weeks, causing major landslides that moved some pipelines. Operators of one pipeline were unaware that pipeline movement broke the cables of a pressure sensor in a remote area of the pipeline that collects data for a rarefaction wave leak detection system supplied by a competitor of Atmos. While this competitor’s system could determine that it had lost communication to these sensors, this information was not passed back to the SCADA, and the pipeline operator had no idea that the sensor had failed. The operators discovered that had a leak occurred, the leak detection system would not have detected the leak.

Highlighting watchdog signals

This failure highlights the importance of the better practice of using watchdog signals to constantly verify that the leak detection hardware and software are functioning. The Atmos systems send such signals the SCADA, for example, a common alarm/warning (or set of alarms/warnings) and the most important watchdog signal. The Atmos Wave, rarefaction wave leak detection system sends updates on the status of the instruments and GPS along with the watchdog signal.

Categories: Industry update

By: Atmos International
Date: 17 April 2019