This project is a HCI intervention in the environmental crises in the Niger Delta where pipeline vandalism has led to an average of 300 oil spills a year, which go underreported. The Right of Way is a protected zone. But pipeline sabotages still occur because the surveillance guards cannot be everywhere along the pipeline at the same time.
PediSense is a footstep detector that differentiates between human (a potential vandal) and animal footsteps, e.g., a dog or goat running, wind, etc., at the Right of Way, and outputs a corresponding report, to prevent false alarms. The device could be buried or laid on the ground. This phase of the project is just the detector itself in the field, and its report is output on the Arduino’s Serial Monitor for further processing. But in a future phase of the project, a reporting system will be built which will be software running on remote computers located in the oil company’s office, in the government’s regulatory agencies’ and relevant monitoring NGOs’ offices and on the guards’ mobile phones. The computers/phones would be connected to PediSense via IoT telemetry, e.g., LoRaWAN, and can obtain the report and the location’s GPS data from PediSense. Action can then be taken before the vandal is able to dig to the pipeline which is 6 feet underground.
In the design, priority was to make the technology, both the hardware and the software, as cheap and easy as possible, so that hundreds of the device could be deployed per Right of Way. The project was designed using the cheap Ion SM-24 seismometer (geophone), LT1013 precision op amp used in instrumentation, and the Arduino Nano microcontroller. Click to view.