Robotic Inspection of Crude Oil Carrier Tanks

EPA Contract Number: 68D00045
Title: Robotic Inspection of Crude Oil Carrier Tanks
Investigators: Churchill, Russell J.
Small Business: American Research Corporation of Virginia
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: I
Project Period: July 1, 1990 through February 1, 1991
Project Amount: $50,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1990) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Pollution Prevention , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


The inspection of Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC) for structural reliability is an important environmental concern. These large vessels transport crude oil in such quantities that the consequence of an oil spill due to a broken weld are very serious. Improved techniques are needed to inspect VLCC tanks for defects such as cracks in seams, corrosion and failed structural members. The cost of inspection is high because the ship must be taken out of service and brought to a repair facility. American Research Corporation of Virginia proposes to remedy this situation by developing a robotic system incorporating magnetic eddy current and video camera inspection. Signals due to cold working of metal components will be used to assess the damage state of tank materials. The program is innovative in applying scanning eddy current and signal analysis techniques to achieve the Phase I objective of developing an eddy current scanning systems, fabricating welded samples, collection and analysis of data and specification ofa remote inspection system for tank evaluation. Phase I will consist of a proof- of-principal demonstration of the eddy current inspection and specification of the robotic svstem. The Phase II pro- gram will involve demonstration of a prototype system on a mock-up oil carrier tank.

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Sustainable Industry/Business, Sustainable Environment, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Oil Spills, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, very large crude carriers (VLCC), VLCC inspection, oil spill, spill prevention, magnetic eddy current scanning, crude oil, video camera inspection

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final