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PhD Studentship: A Multi-Sensory Approach To Buried Asset Detection

University of Birmingham - Department of Civil Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Birmingham
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,009 pa
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 31st July 2019
Closes: 31st October 2019

It is well known that currently no technology exists which can locate a buried asset with confidence across all expected working scenarios. This is recognised within the UK PAS128 guidelines on utility detection, which stipulates the use of at least two technologies at quality level B (geophysical survey) to detect buried assets and this is then reflected in different accuracy levels depending on the quality and number of sensory responses, which also demonstrates levels of increasing confidence as to the location of buried items. The interpretation of the geophysical results often requires post-processing by an expert geophysicist and then expert judgment to define the achieved quality level within the QLB category. 

It is proposed that this doctoral work looks to provide a platform on which information from these sources are presented clearly in a ‘fused’, consistent but considered way. The actuation of this platform will require novel and practicable means of processing geophysical datasets in a timely fashion, such that they may provide in-situ results. 

Through due rigor and consideration as expected within a doctoral work, it is hoped that the following are addressed:

  • Literature review of current relevance practices;
  • Evaluation of the most appropriate data sources;
  • Utilise a range of different geophysical sensing technologies to obtain data from a number of laboratory and field trials to provide data input
  • Assess the achievable accuracy and benefits of adhering to a multi-sensory approach, such as PAS128;
  • Provide a novel and timely mechanism for data fusion;
  • Instruct on the future state, and industrial relevance of any work produced. 

This project has the advantage that it is supported by the Manufacturing Technology Centre with full access to their facilities and also interest from industry through I3P.

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