Focal design issues affecting the deployment of wireless sensor networks for pipeline monitoring

Gbenga Owojaiye, Yichuang Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are a target technology for oil and gas pipeline monitoring because they offer benefits of low cost, ease of deployment and ability to cater for data acquisition at great spatial and temporal scales. In order for WSN to achieve trademark performance in remote monitoring of pipelines, and surpass the performance of present-day traditional monitoring systems, certain design requirements must be met. In this paper, we identify vital design issues that must be considered to facilitate the employment of WSN for pipeline monitoring. We classify these design issues into five different categories namely; sensing modality, power efficiency, energy harvesting, network reliability and localization. In addition, we discuss the concept of cooperative communication for pipeline-monitoring sensor networks deployed in sub-sea environments. We also study the employment of sensor networks for monitoring underground pipelines. Our findings are based on extensive study of the recent literature and comprehensive survey of existing WSN technologies. The WSN design considerations presented in this paper are particularly prolific for pipeline monitoring scenarios, they can however be easily extended to other oil and gas infrastructures. For example; well-head and heat exchanger monitoring, oil platform process monitoring, monitoring of natural gas storage facilities and data collection on coastal infrastructures that could support oil and gas exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1237-1253
Number of pages17
JournalAd Hoc Networks
Issue number3
Early online date5 Oct 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013


  • Energy harvesting
  • Localization
  • Network reliability
  • Oil and gas pipeline monitoring
  • Power efficiency
  • Sensing modality
  • Wireless sensor networks


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