China / Society

China using indigenous Beidou system to detect gas leaks

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-06-12 17:18

BEIJING - China is planning to use its domestically-operated satellite navigation system to help log and detect possible leaks in gas pipelines, the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation (NASMG) announced on Friday.

The program, using the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), will soon be put into place in more than 100 cities. It is already operational in "at least 10 cities", according to a statement from the NASMG.

China's 400,000 km of urban gas pipelines are fitted with pressure transistors that indicate low pressure or potential leaks. However, they can not be used to identify the exact site of the problem.

Under the new system, gas engineers will be given hand-held BDS devices which they can use to accurately record these locations, said Miao Qianjun, secretary general of the Global Navigation Satellite System and Location Based Services Association of China.

"The data collected will be compiled into leakage propensity analysis reports that will inform real-time risk assessment," according to Miao.

"The devices will also track the movements of employees, ensuring productivity," he added.

China plans to expand its urban gas pipeline network to 600,000 km by 2016.

The first BDS satellite was launched in the year 2000 to provide an alternative to satellite navigation systems developed by other countries. In December 2012, it began providing positioning, navigation, timing and short message services to China and some parts of the Asia Pacific.

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