Tech Briefs & Publications

Below are NYSEARCH technical briefs for natural gas research, development and deployment projects conducted with member gas companies throughout the United States and Canada. These tech briefs are organized by the following areas:

  1. Pipeline/Transmission Integrity
    • Cased and Straight
    • General
  2. Distribution Integrity
    • Leak Detection
    • Inspection
    • Damage Prevention
    • Advances in Plastic Pipe & Non-Destructive Evaluation
    • Best Methods for Operations and Maintenance
  3. Gas Quality
  4. Environment
  5. Special Areas

Please click on the links below to view individual Tech Briefs by category:

  1. Pipeline/Transmission Integrity

    Cased and Straight

    1. TIGRE: A Large Diameter Robotic System for the Inspection of Unpiggable Natural Gas Pipelines Using an MFL Sensor.
    2. Robotics: Development of Technologies to Support Robotic Systems for the Inspection of Unpiggable Natural Gas Pipelines.
    3. Explorer 6/8: A Robotics System for the Inspection of 6" - 8" Unpiggable Pipelines.
    4. Transkor's Magnetic Tomography Method (MTM): Testing Program for Remote Inspection using Magnetic Tomography.
    5. Annular Space Direct Inspection Robot: Development of Mini-Camera for Inspection Inside Cased Crossings.
    6. Cased Pipe Inspection via Vents: A tethered camera for cased pipe inspection using vent pipes.
    7. Third Party Cased Pipe Risk Assessment Model: A risk-based model in spreadsheet and commercial software form to aid users in defensible decision-making for prioritizing assessment, monitoring or other actions on cased pipe segments.

  2. General
    1. Test Bed - Design, Construction & Operation: An above and below ground pipeline network with engineered features for testing a variety of pipeline integrity technologies.
    2. Multi-Technology Validation Testing for Cased Pipe Applications: A collective program validating guided wave inspection and demonstrating other available technologies for live cased pipe inspection.
    3. Interactive Threats: The project is defining and prioritizing interacting threats that impact pipeline integrity. Once consensus is reached, a more robust treatment of interactive threats will be incorporated in the Kiefner/NYGAS Risk Model and information will be provided to upgrade other risk models.

  3. Distribution Integrity

      Leak Detection

      1. Mercaptans Instrument for Odorant Characterization in Gas Mains: Highly sensitive mercaptans instrument based on a combination of differential mobility spectroscopy and gas chromatography to achieve very low levels of detection.
      2. Methane MR Sensor Development Program: Low cost, highly accurate and reliable micro-resonator-based methane and natural gas sensor.
      3. Leak Detection System Using PFT Analysis: An instrument that uses perfluorocarbon tracer (PFT) compounds to help pinpoint difficult-to-locate gas pipeline leaks..


      1. Explorer 6/8: A Robotics System for the Inspection of 6" - 8" Unpiggable Pipelines.
      2. Large Variable Geometry Crawler (LVGC): A robotic internal inspection device for 20" - 48" gas pipelines.
      3. Small Variable Geometry Crawler (SVGC): A robotic internal inspection device for 12" - 16" gas pipelines.

      Damage Prevention

      1. Advanced PipeGuard™, Development of an Acoustic Damage Prevention System: An acoustic pipeline monitoring system that will warn pipeline operators of impending damage to pipelines.
      2. Handheld Pipe Locator: An alternative locate tool using ground penetrating radar (GPR) and providing real-time image identification to mark out underground plastic pipes and other facilities.
      3. Advanced PIGPEN: Infrasound frequency sensor system for monitoring third party damage. A buried, wireless infrasonic sensor system which forewarns, identifies and locates potential third party threats to pipelines.
      4. Advanced Video Surveillance System: Development of Advanced Video Surveillance Kit that has the ability to detect excavating equipment typically used by third party excavators that could potentially damage a pipeline. The Alpha prototype develpment is complete.

      Advances in Plastic Pipe & Non-Destructive Evaluation

      1. Butt Fusion Repair Sleeve (BFRS) for PE Pipe: An electrofusion fitting to reinforce defective polyethylene (PE) pipe joints.
      2. NDE Ultrasonic Inspection System for PE Butt Fusion Joints: Development of an NDE Ultrasonic Inspection System for PE Butt Fusion and Electrofusion Joints.
      3. Evaluation of PE Rapid Crack Propagation (RCP): Creating rapid crack propagation in PE pipe to determine the influence of pipe materials, diameter and wall thickness RCP resistance on modern day PE pipe.
      4. Butt Fusion Joint Integrity and NDE Evaluation: Comprehensive testing to validate butt fusion process for safe long-term performance.
      5. PE Piping Standards - Outdoor Storage: Updating ASTM D2513 as a comprehensive material performance-based standard exclusively for polyethylene pipe.
      6. Variable Length Fusion Repair Sleeve (VLRS) for PE Pipe: Variable Length Repair Sleeve (VLRS) is an electrofusion fitting to repair long gouges or scratches in polyethylene (PE) pipe.
  4. Gas Quality
    1. Odor Masking: A study to investigate and determine the primary conditions that could cause changes in perception or intensity of odor that comes from odorant that is added to methane to mark its presence.
    2. Gas Interchangeability Study for LDC Infrastructure Integrity: A comprehensive, materials and components study of the effects of varying gas compositions on the performance of natural gas distribution system infrastructure components. Also known as GIX for Couplings.
    3. Gas Interchangeability Study for Installed Residential Appliances: A comprehensive, geographically diverse study that determines the impacts of varying gas compositions on performance of installed residential appliances. Also known as GIX for Residential Appliances.

  5. Environment
    1. Pipeline to Ultra-Clean Generation Energy Recovery Generation (ERG): Development and evaluation of power generation through gate station's existing pressure reduction process making efficient use of energy capacity within the pipeline.
    2. Soil Vapor Intrusion: Study of soil vapor intrusion associated with manufactured gas plants (MGPs). A characterization of MGP tar vapors to determine the compounds specific to MGP tar so extensive and intrusive customer sampling can be minimized.
    3. Carbon Calculator Spreadsheet Tool: Development of a carbon calculator tool to compare greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for various construction and maintenance activities. NYSEARCH and the North American Society for Trenchless Technology (NASTT) have partnered to address areas in pipeline construction and gas operations.
    4. Expanding the Functions of No-Blow Tools: Develop a No-Blow Tool Kit to eliminate venting gas in most low pressure routine gas work for 4"-12" pipelines.
    5. Management of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) Impacted Sediments: A program to establish a new analytical method for measuring PAHs in sediments near manufactured gas plant (MGP) sites with greater accuracy and validity.
    6. Automated Gas Lamp Controls - Independent Testing & Field Test Evaluation: A product development and field testing program on the automation of sensors and controls of mantle-type gas lamps.

  6. Special Areas
    1. Oracle: Technology Identification and Transfer Program for the Development of New State-of-the-Art Technologies for the Natural Gas Industry: An on-going program that has already resulted in a number of projects
    2. Technology Transfer Improvements: A process to assist companies in successful transition of new technologies from the R&D phase to end users.