Methods and computer executable instructions are provided for making an elongate line (22) with a plurality of marks (30) and detecting those marks (30) to determine a distance of the elongate line (22) in a downhole or a physical integrity thereof. In a preferred embodiment, each mark comprises a plurality of particles (44) having a substantially permanent magnetizing capability adhered to an exterior surface of the elongate line (22) at preselected intervals with an epoxy paint. The particles (44) are arranged at each interval as a plurality of bands (40). Thereafter, the particles are oriented into a magnetic signature for that interval by magnetizing the particles to create a magnetic field substantially normal to the exterior surface. This facilitates detection by a Hall effect probe. The magnetic signatures are stored in a computing configuration and, once a mark is detected, a correlation is made to a unique position on the elongate line by comparison with the stored magnetic signatures. Preferred particles include samarium-cobalt and neodymium-iron-boride.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
This invention was made with United States Government support under Contract No. DE-AC07-94ID13223, now Contract No. DE-AC07-99ID13727 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The United States Government has certain rights in the invention.