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Development of an Inspection Platform and a Suite of Sensors for Assessing Corrosion and Mechanical Damage on Unpiggable Transmission Mains Quarterly Report

Description: The National Energy Technology Laboratory of the US Department of Energy (under Award DE-FC26-02NT41645) and the NYSEARCH Committee of the Northeast Gas Association (previous the New York Gas Group), have sponsored research to develop a robotic pipeline inspection system capable of navigation through the typical physical and operational obstacles that make transmission and distribution pipelines unpiggable. The research contractors, Foster-Miller and GE Oil & Gas (PII North America) have performed an engineering study and developed a conceptual design that meets all the requirements for navigating and inspecting unpiggable transmission pipelines. Based on Foster-Miller's previous efforts developing the Pipe Mouse robot, the RoboScan inspection robot (Figure ES-1) meets the navigational and physical challenges of unpiggable pipelines through an innovative modular platform design, segmented MFL inspection modules and improvements to the inter-module coupling design.
Date: March 1, 2004
Creator: Vradis, George C. & Leary, William
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of an Inspection Platform and a Suite of Sensors for Assessing Corrosion and Mechanical Damage on Unpiggable Transmission Mains Quarterly Report

Description: This development program is a joint effort among the Northeast Gas Association (formerly New York Gas Group), Foster-Miller, Inc., and the US Department of Energy (DOE) through the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). The DOE's contribution to this project is $572,525 out of a total of $772,525. The present report summarizes the accomplishments of the project during its third three-month period (from April 2003 through June 2003). The project was initiated with delay in February 2003 due to contractual issues that emerged between NGA and Foster-Miller, Inc. The two organizations are working diligently to maintain the program's pace and expect to complete it in time. The efforts of the project focused during this period in finalizing the assessment of the tether technology, which is intended to be used as the means of communication between robot and operator. Results indicate that the tether is a viable option under certain pipeline operating conditions, but not all. Concerns also exist regarding the abrasion resistance of the tether, this issue being the last studied. Substantial work was also conducted on the design of the robotic platform, which has progressed very well. Finally, work on the MFL sensor, able to negotiate all pipeline obstacles (including plug valves), was initiated by PII following the successful completion of the subcontract negotiations between Foster-Miller and PII. The sensor design is at this point the critical path in the project's timetable.
Date: July 1, 2003
Creator: Vradis, George C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of an Inspection Platform and a Suite of Sensors for Assessing Corrosion and Mechanical Damage on Unpiggable Transmission Mains Quarterly Report

Description: The present report summarizes the accomplishments of the project during its second three-month period (from January 2003 through March 2003). The project was initiated with delay in February 2003 due to contractual issues that emerged between the NGA and Foster-Miller, Inc. The two organizations are working diligently to maintain the program's pace so that it is completed in time. The efforts of the project focused during this period in the assessment of the tether technology that is intended to be used as the means of communication between robot and operator. Preliminary results indicate that tether is a viable option under certain pipeline operating conditions but not all. The exact range of operating conditions that are viable for tether use are being determined as the study progresses. Work was also initiated regarding the design of the robotic platform.
Date: May 1, 2003
Creator: Vradis, George C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of an Inspection Platform and a Suite of Sensors for Assessing Corrosion and Mechanical Damage on Unpiggable Transmission Mains Quarterly Report

Description: This development program is a joint effort among the Northeast Gas Association (formerly New York Gas Group), Foster-Miller, Inc., and the US Department of Energy (DOE) through the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). The total cost of the project is $772,525, with the National Energy Technology Laboratory of the US Department of Energy contributing $572,525, and the Northeast Gas Association contributing $200,000. The present report summarizes the accomplishments of the project during its fourth three-month period (from July 2003 through September 2003). The efforts of the project focused during this period in completing the assessment of the tether technology, which is intended to be used as the means of communication between robot and operator, in designing the MFL sensor module, in completing the kinematic studies, and in initiating tractor design. In addition, work on the ovality sensor progressed significantly, while work on system integration was initiated focusing at this point in time on module coupling. Results to date indicate that the robotic system under design will be able to meet most of the design specifications initially specified. Earlier concerns regarding the portability of the system are shown to be a non-issue, with new more detailed analysis showing that from a locomotor point of view an inspection of a 16 inch-24 inch pipe size range with a single platform is most likely possible However, the limitations imposed by the sensor are more restrictive, preliminary results indicating an inspection range of 16 inch-20 inch pipe sizes. In addition, tether use will most likely have to be limited to medium and low flow conditions in order to preserve tether integrity.
Date: January 14, 2004
Creator: Vradis, George C. & Leary, Bill
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of an Inspection Platform and a Suite of Sensors for Assessing Corrosion and Mechanical Damage on Unpiggable Transmission Mains Quarterly Report

Description: This development program is a joint effort among the Northeast Gas Association (formerly New York Gas Group), Foster-Miller, Inc., GE Oil & Gas (PII), and the US Department of Energy (DOE) through the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). The total cost of the project is $772,525, with the National Energy Technology Laboratory of the US Department of Energy contributing $572,525, and the Northeast Gas Association contributing $200,000. The present report summarizes the accomplishments of the project during its fifth three-month period (from October 2003 through December 2003). The efforts of the project focused during this period in completing the assessment of the tether technology, which is intended to be used as the means of communication between robot and operator, in completing the design of the MFL sensor modules, and in completing the kinematic studies and tractor design. In addition, work on the ovality sensor has been completed, while work on system integration is nearly complete. Results to date indicate that the robotic system under design will be able to meet most of the design specifications initially prescribed. The kinematic analysis shows that from a locomotor point of view an inspection of a 16 inch-24 inch pipe size range with a single platform is most likely possible. However, the limitations imposed by the sensor are more restrictive, final preliminary design results showing that in order to cover this pipe range, two different sensor systems will be needed; one for the 16 inch-20 inch pipe size range and one for the 20 inch-24 inch range. Finally, the analysis has shown that tether operation will be limited to flows of less than 30 ft/sec; these results will have to be confirmed experimentally during the next phase of work.
Date: February 1, 2004
Creator: Vradis, George C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department