Pipeline Security Assessment

PAPER CRITIQUE

Roper W. E., and Dutta S. (2005). Remote Sensing and GIS Applications for Pipeline Security Assessment. Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth Annual ESRI User Conference.

The purpose of the study was to address a practical, reliable and economical means of monitoring pipeline assets using some of the remote sensing techniques (aerial and satellite) combined with GIS (Roper and Dutta 2005). The authors submitted five remote sensing techniques that could be applied to pipeline security assessment and these are LIDAR Systems (Terrain Analysis and Submerged Infrastructure Assessment), Thermal Infrared Remote Sensing, Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IFSAR), Unmanned Airborne Vehicles and Integrated Satellite Based Detection System for Pipeline Monitoring. The authors' purpose to a large extent agreed with the challenges and/or problems associated with the application of geospatial technologies. Furthermore, the authors mentioned the challenges to include: (a) matching the best sensor to the specific transportation related application; (b) improved methods and authorities for better data sharing across institutional boundaries; (c) disciplinary differences between developer and user; (d) multi-sensor data integration; (e) focused interdisciplinary approach to needs development and product requirements, and this was done by comparing the mode of data collection with satellite based remote sensing and airborne remote sensing systems for pipeline security applications (Roper and Dutta 2005).

The context of the paper was well detailed and integrated with power line safety and security assessment though power line security assessment does not reflect the title and abstract. Thus, it would have been better if the authors had titled the paper as “Remote Sensing and GIS Applications for Pipeline and Power line Safety and Security Assessment”. Secondly, in regards to the abstract, it would have been better if the authors were specific in stating the methods outlined in the context of the paper.

The authors' objectives were to identify and address specific technologies opened by industrial and scientific advances in airborne and satellite remote sensing systems and data processing techniques to develop an increased capability to accomplish the pipeline mapping and safety needs of the industry and these objectives were achievable by evaluating alternatives to airborne remote sensing of the pipelines and thus comparing aerial and satellite monitoring systems for pipeline security applications (Roper and Dutta 2005).

The authors initiated the study with an extensive review of the literature pertaining to aspects of geospatial technologies. Suitable references were cited in the context of the paper. Also, suggested section titles would have been: (a) Introduction; (b) Pipeline Industry and Safety Issues; (c) Airborne Remote Sensing Systems (with its appropriate corresponding techniques as sub-titles); (d) Satellite Remote Sensing Systems (with its appropriate corresponding techniques as sub-titles); (e) Effectiveness of Airborne Based Pipeline Monitoring Systems; (f) Effectiveness of Satellite Based Pipeline Monitoring Systems; (g) Summary and Conclusion; (h) References.

Regarding the theory, the authors' work had identified the potential for satellite imagery to detect significant slope motion and ground movements that could threaten nearby pipelines with less expensive means (Hartdraft, 1998). Thus, the justification of adequate coverage of the theory.

Good points had been made by the authors in regards to the imagery and graphical illustrations as these were very relevant.

The authors' paper is structured. However, the paper would have been better structured if the illustrations (images, graph and table) were incorporated within the context of the paper rather than the end of the paper.

Though there is no section title as conclusion in the authors' paper, the detailed summary section could serve a dual purpose of summary and conclusion. Thus, the suggested section title would have been Summary and Conclusion. The summary encompassed from Introduction to methodology and also stated obviously the remote sensing systems and their unique capabilities for the respective applications they were initially designed for (Roper and Dutta 2005). However, it could have been better if the authors also stated that a complete monitoring system for transmission pipelines will call for a combination of different sensors (Zirnig et. al 2001).

Reference citations appeared to be moderately up-to-date, and also not to be correct as the author-date style was not consistent in the reference section. This section would have been well presented if the generic author-date style, “Harvard style” (University of Queensland Library 2009) was consistent throughout the references section.

The written style of the paper is excellent and scholarly friendly.

References

James P. K. (1997). Research Design in Occupational Education, Oklahoma State University, http://www.okstate.edu/ag/agedcm4h/academic/aged5980a/5980/critique.htm

Hartdraft, R. (1998). Satellite Radar Interferometry to Detect and Characterize Slope

Motion Hazardous to Gas Pipelines: A Demonstration Study of Three Sites. Topical Report, 49 p., http://www.gri.org/pub/abstracts/ gri99-~. Html

Roper W. E., and Dutta S. (2005). Oil and Gas Spill and Pipeline Condition

Assessment using Remote Sensing - New tool for situational awareness. Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth Annual ESRI User Conference, Roper W. E., and Dutta S. (2005). Remote Sensing and GIS Applications for Pipeline

Security Assessment. Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth Annual ESRI User Conference, http://proceedings.esri.com/library/userconf/proc05/papers/pap1762.pdf

University of Queensland Library 2009, References/Bibliography Harvard Style, University of Queensland Library, viewed 6 February 2009, http://www.library.uq.edu.au/training/citation/harvard_6.pdf

Zirnig, W., Hausamann; D., and Schreier; G. (2002); High-resolution remote sensing used to monitor natural gas pipelines. EOM 2002, March, Amsterdam.

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