EMAT Guided Wave Technology for Inline Inspections of Unpiggable Natural Gas

The CIRRIS XI robot has made great strides in overcoming major challenges associated with internal assessment of cast iron pipelines. Most importantly the CIRRIS XI robot can measure wall thickness and stress and detect defects while providing significant improvements in accuracy and resolution using an Electro Magnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMAT) normal beam sensor. Another promising type of EMAT technology is "EMAT guided wave" which has yet to be introduced for robotic inline inspection. It is more complex than normal beam EMAT but the use of EMAT guided wave on robots for inline inspection would advance inspection in leaps and bounds by providing 100% coverage. This would increase the confidence of detecting threats without affecting the time and speed of inspections. To this end, this project, co-funded by Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), focuses on using the CIRRIS XI robot as a baseline for developing a 100% inspection robot using an EMAT guided wave sensor. The first task of the project will be the evaluation of the performance of the EMAT guided wave sensor for inspection of cast iron and steel transmission and distribution mains. Sensor performance will be evaluated using various plate and pipe sizes, sensor configurations, wave modes and scan speed. The second task will involve the assessment of the ability to detect and classify defects and flaws using feature extraction through post processing. Following this a lab demonstration of the sensor technology will be provided to PHMSA and industry participants. The third task will focus on evaluating the existing robot design and performing an initial conceptual design to incorporate the EMAT guided wave sensor and electronics into the CIRRIS XI robot. The initial application for the robot would be in distribution mains. Future enhancements to the sensor and robot would also make it possible to operate the robot in transmission mains.


    • English


    • Status: Completed
    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

      U.S. Department of Transportation
      East Building, 2nd Floor 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Performing Organizations:

      ULC Robotics

      88 Arkay Drive
      Hauppauge, NY  United States  11788
    • Start Date: 20160930
    • Expected Completion Date: 20180930
    • Actual Completion Date: 20180930

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01632447
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: ULC Robotics
    • Files: RIP
    • Created Date: Apr 20 2017 7:59PM