Identification and localization of leaks in water pipelines using acoustic methods have been utilized for many years. Most of the existing acoustic leak detection techniques rely on external measurements of sound emitted from the turbulent jet of water escaping the pipe. Direct acoustic measurements via hydrophones, which travel inside the pipe with the flow, have been recently addressed as a viable complementary leak detection technique. This paper presents an experimental investigation that addresses the feasibility and potential of inpipe acoustic measurements for leak detection. An experimental water pipe circuit was constructed to permit different line pressures, flow rates and leak sizes. The leak acoustic signature was acquired at different proximities from the leak port for variations of the line parameters. The acquired acoustic signals are processed and analyzed to access the feasibility and point out the limitations of invoking in-pipe measurements for leak detection.

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