PRCI, Research Partners Receive PHMSA R&D Contract For RAM Program

June 2011 Vol. 238 No. 6

PRCI received notification from the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (DOT PHMSA) on the approval of R&D funding to support PRCI’s research effort on the Right of Way Automated Monitoring (RAM) Program.

The RAM Program includes developing automated, integrated, and scalable sensing suites to provide safer, smarter, and more cost-effective aerial surveillance for detection, identification, and communication of machinery threats (i.e., construction machinery often associated with third-party damage to pipeline infrastructure), changed conditions (erosion, subsidence), and leaks on pipeline right of ways and corridors.

In coordination with partners NASA and Electricore, PRCI submitted a proposal to DOT last summer and was notified of its award in March. The R&D contract includes a funding commitment from PHMSA of nearly $815,000 over 30 months, representing a significant financial contribution and long-term commitment to the RAM Program and establishing damage prevention as a top priority for the pipeline industry and PHMSA.