With the decreasing costs and increasing capabilities of electronics and communications, it has become practical to monitor cathodic protection levels using automated monitoring systems, or smart test stations. These smart test stations can measure pipe-to-soil potentials, instant-off and depolarized coupon potentials, and bond currents, and communicate these data via satellite or cellular communications systems. Low power electronics allow these smart test stations to operate using a lithium battery, obviating the need for electrical power and increasing the reliability by eliminating a source of electrical spikes and surges. In addition, automated processes by the end user can populate data into existing databases customized for cathodic protection record-keeping, and can be integrated with other software systems, such as work-management or risk-management software.
Key Words: remote monitoring, cathodic protection, low power electronics, automated processing