Improving Pipeline Protection, Leak Detection and Compliance Using Satellite-Based Hyperspectral Analysis


Oct 14 2021


9:45 am - 10:45 am

Improving Pipeline Protection, Leak Detection and Compliance Using Satellite-Based Hyperspectral Analysis


This presentation seeks to expand the familiarity of the audience with a rapidly growing commercial marketplace developing in space, notably including increased availability of and access to tailored satellite-based imagery customized analysis and reporting for asset owners and operators.  One particular technology – hyperspectral imagery – will be highlighted due to its exceptional suitability for remotely detecting small hydrocarbon leaks and physical threats to pipeline rights of way, as well as its potentially unique ability to do so while replacing traditional visual aerial patrol for compliance.


Rapid technology advances have now made it possible for operators to employ satellite imagery, specifically based on the latest hyperspectral data collection and analysis capabilities, for superior leak prevention and detection, encroachment identification, and change analysis, in lieu of aerial patrol for compliance with DOT PHMSA pipeline monitoring regulations.  This service will soon be available worldwide at a cost that rivals traditional visual aerial patrol.

Satellite constellations of hyperspectral imaging sensors are now being deployed, augmented by a localized aerial capability, to drive a decrease in the number and magnitude of above- and belowground pipeline leaks. This session will demonstrate how HSI collected from spaceborne assets and aerial platforms is being evaluated for oil, gas and chemical operators.  It will also discuss how advanced analytical processes are being used to detect these threats to pipelines as well as provide low-threshold leak detection and hydrocarbon speciation along pipeline systems and at fixed facilities.

Orbital Sidekick is set to launch its first proprietary hyperspectral sensing satellite into orbit during December 2020.  At this Common Ground Alliance Conference, OSK will be presenting its newest imagery to the public for the first time.

Today’s rapid advancements in technology promise significant compliance and safety advantages for asset operators.  Satellite-based hyperspectral imaging is finally a reality and will be shown to be a powerful, cost-effective and now accessible means for routine data gathering and pipeline stewardship.

  • Presenter: Orbital Sidekick
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