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Gas Spectroscopy
Pipeline Inspection
HyperSpectral Imaging
Simplisit and Playit

Pipeline Inspection

The two products described on this page are both based on line scan cameras, Simplisit is a self contained system for use in natural gas pipelines under normal operation i.e., pressure in the range 50-200 bars. Simplisit is self contain with regards to storage media and battery power.

The playit system was designed to inspect the pipeline during the lay phase and was mounted inside the pipe on-board the lay barge. The system should detect deviations in the cleaning of pipe segments, "double joints", as well as to detect and document lost objects inside the pipe.


The Simplisit System

The Simplisit system was an internal pipeline inspection tool for use in natural gas pipelines. Based on line scan cameras and laser illumination it acquired images from the interior of pipelines. The system was equipped with Li batteries and hard disks for storage of image data i.e., a self contained system.

The pressure rating was 200 bars. The imaging resolution was 1 X 1 mm for velocities up to 3 m/s.

The system was based on 8 custom line scan cameras with FireWire (IEEE 1394) interface, 3 custom real time JPEG compression board, one custom Intel i960 board with PCI interface and a compact single board computer system running Linux. Probably the first Linux system to run through a natural gas pipeline in full production at 160 bars.

Schematid diagram, Simplisit

The schematic diagram above shows the main electronic components in the Simplisit system. Lasers, laser power supplies, batteries and the main power supply is not shown.


This picture shows work in the lab on the camera electronis in the Simplisit tool (left) and preparation work before an actual inspection (right). The image to the right shows the simplisit tool mounted on a cleaning pig located in the pig launcher.

Image of hot tap

The figure above shows an image acquired by the Simplisit system. A "hot tap" has been found. A hot tap is something that has been connected to the pipe when the pipe is in full operation and under pressure. In this case instrumentation has been attached, but in many parts of the world unauthorised hot taps are uses for stealing natural gas or oil.

Image of text inside pipe

This image shows more data from Simplisit: a field joint, the uncoated area with the weld. You can also see a hand written number.

Image of longitudinal weld and text

In this photo taken by the Simplisit system, you can see a longitudinal weld (horisontal, near the bottom) and some text painted on the inside of the pipe. Each pipe segment that has a lenght in the range from 12-15 (typical) has an unique number that is stored in databases togehter with process data, actual position etc. By reading the pipe number on the images one can know for sure which pipe segment we are inspecting.

Simplisit is a discontinued product.

More details on the current Optopig system can be found on these pages : [Products]-[Optopig]. or


Playit was a system based on Simplisit technology using rechargeable batteries and a fibre optical network to communicate to a master computer system displaying images from the tool. The objective with the system was to assure the quality of the pipeline lay process with regards to cleaning of the pipe and to make sure that objects weren't lost inside the pipe. The system was placed inside the pipe after the alignment clamp onboard the lay barge.


The picture above shows the Playit tool (left) and a typical lay barge right.


This figure show an overall system concept for a pipeline lay operation. The playit system was placed between the line up clamp and the X-ray crawler.


This figure shows details around the line up clamp and the Playit tool.


This figure illustrates the fan shaped laser beams used for illumination in the Playit system. Note that only 4 of 8 lasers are shown in the figure for clarity.


This picture has been acquired by the Playit tool during operation. The left part shows a field joint and som heating marks from the preheatin process. To the right anoder field joint plus dust with tyre tracks from the line up clamp.

Playit is a discontinued product.

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