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Preventing excavation damage

GTI is working to reduce damage from excavation activity by using real-time GIS technology and cellular-connected location and motion sensors placed on construction equipment. Real-time tracking of construction equipment, gas system infrastructure GIS data, and activity characterization algorithms are used to alert stakeholders to potential damage from active excavations.

GTI has worked extensively with Operations Technology Development (OTD), Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), and other utilities to develop and demonstrate the technology. GTI successfully deployed 150 devices in an excavation encroachment notification (EEN) system pilot project with PG&E as part of a California Energy Commission grant. Researchers were able to assess excavation activity and combine GIS data to provide an accurate algorithm to significantly reduce the occurrence of false-positive results in the characterization of field activity. Based on positive response, PG&E will continue to use the devices after the field test ends to help bring the technology to market. Additional pilot projects under development involve some potential commercialization partners, and new utility partners are encouraged to participate.​