Available Technology

Robotic Inspection System for Deep Sea Structures

Surveys interior volume, interrogates structure integrity, and displays real-time video and sonar

NASA Johnson Space Center innovators have designed a Robotic Inspection System that is capable of surveying deep sea structures such as oil platform storage cells/tanks and pipelines in order to determine the volume of material remaining inside, interrogate structure integrity, and display real-time video and sonar. This inspection device and method could significantly reduce the cost of inspecting and in the future, provide sampling of the structure contents. The technology is an all-in-one inspection device that includes cameras, sonar and motion sensing instruments with hardware and software components. This NASA-developed technology is available for licensing. This NASA Technology is available for your company to license and develop into a commercial product. NASA does not manufacture products for commercial sale.

Benefits

  • Sonar display: 3-dimensional range data from 2-dimensional information
  • All-in-one inspection device: cameras, sonar, and motion sensing instruments
  • Minimal moving parts

Applications

  • Sub-sea oil and gas platform structures
  • Deep sea exploration
  • Pipelines at least partially containing a fluid

The Technology

Robotic inspection device prototype used for testing.
Robotic inspection device prototype used for testing.

The Robotic Inspection System improves the inspection of deep sea structures such as offshore storage cells/tanks, pipelines, and other subsea exploration applications. Generally, oil platforms are comprised of pipelines and/or subsea storage cells. These storage cells not only provide a stable base for the platform, they provide intermediate storage and separation capability for oil. Surveying these structures to examine the contents is often required when the platforms are being decommissioned. The Robotic Inspection System provides a device and method for imaging the inside of the cells, which includes hardware and software components. The device is able to move through interconnected pipes, even making 90 degree turns with minimal power. The Robotic Inspection System is able to display 3-dimentional range data from 2-dimensional information. This inspection method and device could significantly reduce the cost of decommissioning cells. The device has the capability to map interior volume, interrogate integrity of cell fill lines, display real-time video and sonar, and with future development possibly sample sediment or oil.

Download a PDF fact sheet for this technology.

Learn more: https://technology.nasa.gov/patent/MSC-TOPS-70

Patent Number: 
9,739,411
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
/MSC-TOPS-70
Agency
NASA
State: 
Texas
Lab Representatives
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