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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 15, Number 2, February 2015 , pages 245-258

Experimental investigations on detecting lateral buckling for subsea pipelines with distributed fiber optic sensors
Xin Feng, Wenjing Wu, Xingyu Li, Xiaowei Zhang and Jing Zhou

    A methodology based on distributed fiber optic sensors is proposed to detect the lateral buckling for subsea pipelines in this study. Uncontrolled buckling may lead to serious consequences for the structural integrity of a pipeline. A simple solution to this problem is to control the formation of lateral buckles among the pipeline. This firms the importance of monitoring the occurrence and evolution of pipeline buckling during the installation stage and long-term service cycle. This study reports the experimental investigations on a method for distributed detection of lateral buckling in subsea pipelines with Brillouin fiber optic sensor. The sensing scheme possesses the capability for monitoring the pipeline over the entire structure. The longitudinal strains are monitored by mounting the Brillouin optical time domain analysis (BOTDA) distributed sensors on the outer surface of the pipeline. Then the bending-induced strain is extracted to detect the occurrence and evolution of lateral buckling. Feasibility of the method was validated by using an experimental program on a small scale model pipe. The results demonstrate that the proposed approach is able to detect, in a distributed manner, the onset and progress of lateral buckling in pipelines. The methodology developed in this study provides a promising tool for assessing the structural integrity of subsea pipelines.
Key Words
    subsea pipeline; lateral buckling; buckling detection; structural integrity; distributed fiber optic sensor; BOTDA
Xin Feng, Wenjing Wu, Xingyu Li, Xiaowei Zhang and Jing Zhou: State Key Laboratory of Coastal and Offshore Engineering, Faculty of Infrastructure Engineering,
Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116023, China

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