Pipeline Telemetry

Pipeline pig

Routine pipeline maintenance is done by placing a solid cylindrical device, called a “pig”, in the pipeline. To monitor the physical profile of the pipeline, a gyroscope package is installed in a pig. As the gyro sensor travels along the pipeline, it records data indicating its orientation and motion. When the pig exits the pipeline, the data is compared to a previous profile to look for significant differences that could indicate a problem with the pipeline.

Using an automated gyro sensor to perform routine inspections is typically more cost effective than visually inspecting the entire pipeline. This allows for more frequent inspections that enable maintenance personnel to proactively respond to any problems that are detected.

Watson Industries produces a gyro sensor that is well suited to this application. The Dynamic Measurement System (DMS) outputs data on the inertial position of the pipeline pig including relative heading.

Watson Experience

Watson Industries been involved in the development and production of inertial gyro products for this application since 1990.

Applicable Products

Technical Challenges

An inertial gyro sensor package inside of a pipeline presents several challenges. The sensor must be accurate at all attitudes, since the pig is free to rotate as it travels down the pipeline. The DMS can also occasionally experience highly dynamic conditions that require gyros with a range that is wide enough to track all the motions involved. Another problem with the pipeline environment is that there is no velocity data available to correct for centrifugal forces encountered in transit, so extremely stable gyros are necessary.

The Watson Industries Dynamic Measurement System has the high quality, accurate gyros you need to meet the challenges posed by the pipeline environment. Our gyroscopes have the accuracy and stability specs to meet the needs of this demanding application. They can also easily accommodate the rate ranges necessary for pipeline telemetry.


  • Stability
  • Wide dynamic range
  • Low Power (Battery operated)

Typical Options

We are able to accommodate your custom needs. Go to our custom product modifications page for a listing of the most common custom options we support.

Custom options for this application:

  • Packaging – We are able to customize the packaging of our sensor to conform to the size of your housing.
  • Internal Power Supply
  • Internal Data Logging