Dedicated laser accessory captures, analyzes pipeline data

Dedicated laser accessory captures, analyzes pipeline data

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A new laser profiling accessory for the ROVVER X inspection crawler from Envirosight captures and analyzes profile data from the inside of buried pipeline for planning relining projects, determining pipe life, monitoring erosion/corrosion, quantifying defects and analyzing partial collapses.

Profile data is transferred to WinCan V8 inspection software's laser inspection module, which can trend pipeline diameter and deformation frame-by-frame to generate a solid model, ovality graph or color plot.

"Our plan for the ROVVER X line was to have a single crawler that could be configured quickly to do any kind of inspection. We make many accessories for it, but until now, laser scanning wasn't one of them," says Jake Wells, marketing manager for Envirosight. "Rather than having support and training split among multiple vendors, we thought it would be better to develop our own laser probe that would be tailored to the configuration of our crawler.

The unit is designed with profile lines up to 18 inches in diameter when mounted directly to the crawler, and larger lines can be profiled by mounting it to a skid pulled by the crawler.

"The larger the line, the longer the (laser) probe needs to be, and there becomes a point where the overhand produces too much bounce," he says. "In such a case, when the crawler goes over a joint or small bump, it would cause a lot of deflection in the arm, which the software could misinterpret. Instead of using a really long probe, the standard probe is mounted to a skid that's pulled by the crawler, eliminating the problem."

Laser profiling, commonly used in post-installation inspections, can reveal defects that might otherwise go undetected, going so far as to create a 3D model of the interior surface of the pipe, Wells says. "It's an inexpensive way to get that interior geometric data, and pretty much the only way." Other applications include documenting pipe wall deterioration for planned maintenance, repair and relining.

"With the profiler you can measure anomalies around the pipe, as well as what may be lying at the bottom," Wells says. Laser profiling also can be combined with side-scanning technology for an even more precise picture of the pipe interior. "You can overlay the visual data on the geometric data and create a 3D model to see the correlation between the visual defects and defects in the actual geometry in the pipe."

The profiling accessory attaches without tools and requires no electrical connections. A hinged mounting system makes it easy to deploy in tight spaces, while twin carbon fiber arms ensure rigidity. The accessory can be mounted to any ROVVER X pan-tilt-zoom camera and operates up to 16 hours on a single AA battery. 886/936-8476;


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