PIG Device & Windows App

Microline Technology Corp.

Microline’s pipeline inspection system sets a new industry standard, allowing technicians to gather more data with more accuracy in less time.

web

web

mobile

mobile

desktop

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embedded

embedded

MESSA and its design logo are marks owned by Michigan Education Special Services Association, registered in the U.S.
The 24-inch Smart PIG (Pipeline Inspection Gauge) has over 1,000 sensors collecting 1TB of data, and Streamline makes that data easy to understand and manage.

Smart PIG

Microline tests oil and gas pipelines for corrosion, deformity, and weakness using Pipeline Inspection Gauges (PIGs) and other tools.

Their new PIG for large-diameter pipelines is 6’ long and 24” in diameter, with 78 circuit boards, incorporating and 90 microprocessors. It can travel over 300 miles and record data from 1,000+ sensors every 16th of an inch (every 500 microseconds).

Streamline Windows App

Technicians manage the PIG with a custom Windows app called Streamline, which can configure, test, prep, launch and gather data from the device.

The platform includes an open-source tool called Cauterize that allows the PIG, Streamline, and other tools to share the same communication protocol. Atomic also developed a simulation framework so the team could test Streamline with real data as they developed it.

Coordinating Stakeholders

In addition to team members Grand Rapids and Atomic Object, this project brought together lots of different groups. Having this many cooks in the kitchen required a lot of coordination and a complex project schedule that balanced several timelines and sets of constraints.
Recycling data from the GR Public Services Department
Dozens of vendors with rewards of various sizes, types, and durations — recruited and coordinated by Local First
The myGRcitypoints information website, created by The Image Shoppe

Technical Specs

Atomic designed the system architecture and wrote software and firmware for:

Custom Protocol
Reduces required bandwidth and handle collisions, allowing reliable transfer of a high volume of information through RF and cellular communications back to the data collection service.
Gateway Devices
Each is a Technologic TS 7800 single-board computer with a custom RF receiver. They run a combination of C and Ruby on an embedded Linux system.
Web App
A JRuby on Rails application using an Oracle database that deploys to IBM Websphere.

Streamline matches data on-screen with the position of the corresponding sensors on the PIG, helping technicians quickly find what they're looking for. It also flattens the data, showing a high-level overview on the main screen and making it easy to access any functional aspect of the PIG without clicking several layers deep.

Unlike other configuration apps, Streamline also reviews the status of each sensor and shows warnings.

Streamline is a beautiful application. Personnel are often under pressure in the field because the customer wants to get the pipe back online ASAP. So we focused heavily on conveying the right amount of information in the right way.
Jason Enyart, Embedded Software Manager

Atomic provided embedded software development for Microline’s 24-inch Smart PIG, and Windows app development for Streamline, created using C# in WPF. Atomic also developed an open source tool for communication among different parts of the system and a simulation framework so the team could test Streamline with real data as they developed it.

The Atomic Team

Here are some of our current Atoms who worked on this project. Click their photo to read their bios!

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Project domain(s)

web

web

mobile

mobile

desktop

desktop

embedded

embedded

Services provided

System Architecture
Information Architecture
Interaction Design
Visual Design
Software Development
User Testing
Deployment

Tools used

ARM Processors (Cortex M3 & M4)
C
Ruby
C#
FreeRTOS
LightWeight IP
CAN & Ethernet Communication