Pipelines are the safest tools for transporting oil and gas. However, the environmental effects and sabotage of hostile people cause corrosion and decay of pipelines, which bring financial and environmental damages. Today, new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and wireless sensor networks (WSNs) can provide solutions to monitor and timely detect corrosion of oil pipelines. Coverage is a fundamental challenge in pipeline monitoring systems to timely detect and resolve oil leakage and pipeline corrosion. To ensure appropriate coverage on pipeline monitoring systems, one solution is to design a scheduling mechanism for nodes to reduce energy consumption. In this paper, we propose a reinforcement learning-based area coverage technique called CoWSN to intelligently monitor oil and gas pipelines. In CoWSN, the sensing range of each sensor node is converted to a digital matrix to estimate the overlap of this node with other neighboring nodes. Then, a Q-learning-based scheduling mechanism is designed to determine the activity time of sensor nodes based on their overlapping, energy, and distance to the base station. Finally, CoWSN can predict the death time of sensor nodes and replace them at the right time. This work does not allow to be disrupted the data transmission process between sensor nodes and BS. CoWSN is simulated using NS2. Then, our scheme is compared with three area coverage schemes, including the scheme of Rahmani et al., CCM-RL, and CCA according to several parameters, including the average number of active sensor nodes, coverage rate, energy consumption, and network lifetime. The simulation results show that CoWSN has a better performance than other methods.
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