A correlator works by comparing signals from two sensors positioned along the line of existing pipe work either side of the suspected leak and picks up noise created by the leak as it escapes from the pipe under pressure. The noise travels at a constant velocity (which depends on the material and diameter of pipe) and will reach the sensor nearer the leak. The arrival time at each sensor is registered and the difference between the two arrival times, combined with the knowledge of the pipe type and length, enables the leak position to be calculated by the correlator. Depending on the environment conditions, accuracy of leak pinpointing can be to within centimetres.

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