SouthStar

Configuration 3

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Through Tank Wall Listening Baseline Station

Robotic Inspection of Refinery Tanks

The bottom steel plates of refinery tanks must be periodically inspected to prevent failure and product leakage on account of rust or material fatigue/flexing. Manta Robotic’s crawler ROV serves that purpose but requires a method to navigate inside the tanks. To suit the purpose, SouthStar was adapted to use stethoscope-like sonar transducers that are attached by magnetic foot to the outside of the tank, listening to the vehicle pinger’s sound through the tank wall to determine its position. These baseline stations are wired back to a combiner box, avoiding the use of RF communication which can be problematic in refineries.


Key Advantages

  • Overcomes the problem of acoustic reverberations in tanks by relying on a single, short ping to obtain a position fix for the ROV

  • Overcomes the problem of limited access to the inside of a tank by using through-the-wall listening baseline transducers that are attached to the outside

  • Uses cabled wiring of the baseline transducers to a combiner box, to eliminate the use of radio frequency communication, which is a safety concern in refineries

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