NYSEARCH Project M2020-007: Feasiblity Study For A Robotic Platform and Suite Of Sensors To Identify Degradation In Non-conforming Driscopipe® 8000

Fig. 1: Sample of Degraded Driscopipe® 8000

Fig 2: Internal degradation in NCDP

Fig 3: External degradation

A feasibility study conducted by NYSEARCH, InvoDane/Intero and Iowa State University has resulted in the successful identification of a sensor system and robotics platform which are capable of detecting internal degradation/delamination through live in-line inspection of high-density polyethylene pipe, specifically non-conforming Driscopipe® 8000 (NCDP).

In an Advisory Bulletin dated March 2012, PHMSA alerted natural gas system operators to system integrity risks associated with the potential material degradation and delamination of plastic pipe manufactured between 1979-1997, specifically NCD installed in the highest temperature regions of the United States, mainly the dessert southwest and the southern most regions. NYSEARCH along with InvoDane/Intero addressed the aforementioned risk by conducting a systematic feasibility study and developing concepts for sensory technologies and robotic platforms able to detect such degradation/delamination. Once completed and commercialized, the sensor-equipped robotic system should be able to be launched, operated, and retrieved under live conditions and travel in a range of natural gas plastic pipes over long distances.


For more than thirty years, NYSEARCH has worked as a consortium of natural gas Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) who have a common interest and need for research and technology development and demonstration. Today, as part of the Northeast Gas Association (NGA), NYSEARCH manages over (30) projects in various stages of development for LDCs, transmission companies, federal agencies and their manufacturing and commercial partners. NYSEARCH is located in Parsippany, NJ and NGA is headquartered in Needham, Massachusetts.