The system and method provides a means for inspecting pipelines that have obstructions which prevent conventional inspection pigs from passing the obstructions. The invention uses remote-field eddy current inspection techniques and a uniquely configured excitation coil for inline inspection of pipelines having valves and other fittings that severely restrict or prevent the use of conventional inspection pigs. A unique collapsible excitation coil and a collapsible sensor array enables an inspection pig using these features to pass pipeline obstructions that prevent passage by conventional inspection pigs. The collapsible coil and sensor array provide means for reducing the diameter of an inspection pig to enable it to pass obstructions in the pipeline.
Gary L. Burkhardt; Alfred E. Crouch; Jay L. Fisher