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DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION AND FIELD DEMONSTRATION OF EXPLORER: A LONG-RANGE UNTETHERED LIVE GASLINE INSPECTION ROBOT SYSTEM

Description: This program is undertaken in order to construct and field-demonstrate EXPLORER, a modular, remotely controllable, self-powered, untethered robot system for the inspection of live gas distribution 150 mm (6- inch) to 200 mm (8-inch) diameter mains. The modular design of the system allows it to accommodate various components intended to accomplish different inspection, repair, sample retrieval, and other in-pipe tasks. The prototype system being built under this project will include all the basic modules needed, i.e. the locomotor, power storage, wireless communication, and camera. The camera, a solid-state fisheye-type, is used to transmit real-time video to the operator that allows for the live inspection of gas distribution pipes. This module, which incorporates technology developed by NASA, has already been designed, constructed and tested, having exceeded performance expectations. The full prototype system will be comprehensively tested in the laboratory followed by two field demonstrations in real applications in NYGAS member utilities' pipes. The system under development significantly advances the state of the art in inspection systems for gas distribution mains, which presently consist of tethered systems of limited range (about 500 ft form the point of launch) and limited inspection views. Also current inspection systems have no ability to incorporate additional modules to expand their functionality. This development program is a joint effort among the New York Gas Group (NYGAS; a trade association of the publicly owned gas utilities in New York State), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the Johnson Space Center (JSC), Carnegie Mellon University's (CMU) National Robotics Engineering Consortium (NREC), and the US Department of Energy (DOE) through the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). The DOE's contribution to this current phase of the project is $499,023 out of a total of $780,735 (not including NASA's contribution). The present report summarizes the accomplishments of the project during its second six ...
Date: October 1, 2002
Creator: Vradis, Dr. George C. & Schempf, Dr. Hagen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION AND FIELD DEMONSTRATION OF EXPLORER: A LONG-RANGE UNTETHERED LIVE GASLINE INSPECTION ROBOT SYSTEM

Description: This program is undertaken in order to construct and field-demonstrate EXPLORER, a modular, remotely controllable, self-powered, untethered robot system for the inspection of live gas distribution 150 mm (6-inch) to 200 mm (8-inch) diameter mains. The modular design of the system allows it to accommodate various components intended to accomplish different inspection, repair, sample retrieval, and other in-pipe tasks. The prototype system being built under this project will include all the basic modules needed, i.e. the locomotor, power storage, wireless communication, and camera. The camera, a solid-state fisheye-type, is used to transmit real-time video to the operator that allows for the live inspection of gas distribution pipes. This module, which incorporates technology developed by NASA, has already been designed, constructed and tested, having exceeded performance expectations. The full prototype system will be comprehensively tested in the laboratory followed by two field demonstrations in real applications in NGA member utilities' pipes. The system under development significantly advances the state of the art in inspection systems for gas distribution mains, which presently consist of tethered systems of limited range (about 500 ft form the point of launch) and limited inspection views. Also current inspection systems have no ability to incorporate additional modules to expand their functionality. The present report summarizes the accomplishments of the project during its third six-month period. The project has in general achieved its goals for this period as outlined in the report. The fabrication of the prototype is complete and is now been tested in the laboratory mainly focusing on the last system integration issues and on software development for the turning and launching routines. Testing of the prototype in the lab is expected to be completed by Summer 2003, to be followed by two field demonstrations in early Fall 2003.
Date: April 1, 2003
Creator: Vradis, Dr. George C. & Schempf, Dr. Hagen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department