Acoustic signal-based underwater oil leak detection and localization

Kosanam Chandrasekar, Geetha Varsha (2021) Acoustic signal-based underwater oil leak detection and localization. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Underwater Wireless Sensor Networks (UWSNs) have been becoming popular for exploring offshore, natural resource development, geological oceanography, and monitoring the underwater environment. The acoustic channel characteristics in underwater impose challenges, including limited bandwidth, signal attenuation, and propagation delay that limits UWSN utilization. The marine environment is under threat from pollution, which impacts human life and activities. Compared to other pollution types, the oil leak is a significant threat to the marine ecosystem. When the leaked oil or other petroleum products mix with water in the ocean, significant biological and economic impacts could result. Although much research has focused on improving the reception and processing of acoustic signals, increasing performance, and reducing packet delay, no significant research results have been reported on finding an effective early-stage leak detection method using acoustic signal processing. Accurate information about oil spill location and its characteristics is much needed for oil spill containment and cleanup operations. Developing an efficient under- water oil leak detection and localization algorithm is still challenging in UWSNs because of the impairments of the acoustic channel. In this thesis, we propose a technique that detects the presence of an oil leak in the underwater environment at an early stage. We also propose a localization algorithm that determines the approximate location of the oil leak. Firstly, we review the propagation properties of acoustic signals to understand acoustic communication in the marine environment better. We then discuss the transmission of sound in terms of reflection and refraction. We propose a leak detection technique based on the range estimation method to detect oil leak at an early stage before reaching the ocean sur- face. We perform a two-dimensional analysis for evaluating the performance of the proposed detection technique. To investigate the proposed technique, we perform evaluation with different network sizes and topologies. We discuss the detection ratio, network scalability, power and intensity of the received signal. We then perform a three-dimensional analysis to evaluate the performance of the proposed technique. We conduct theoretical analysis to investigate the proposed technique in terms of detection ratio, network scalability, power and intensity of the received signal. We assess the efficiency of the proposed detection method by considering an oil leak at different ocean levels. Finally, we propose a cooperative localization algorithm for localizing the leak in the UWSN. We then evaluate the proposed localization algorithm for two different topologies. Our results show that our proposed technique works well for an underwater network with concentric hexagonal topology. We can extend the proposed method for other types of targets with different shapes and sizes.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 14999
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 167-180).
Keywords: acoustic, underwater, leak detection, leak localization, oil leak
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: May 2021
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Oil spills; Underwater acoustics; Wireless sensor networks.

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