Robotic Tools For Video Inspections Of Live 12- 36-Inch Natural Gas Pipelines

By Angelo Fabiano, NYSEARCH/NGA; and Gregory Penza, ULC Robotics | January 2011 Vol. 66 No. 1
Small VGC – front view

Inspection results
ULC Robotics successfully completed video inspection services for several major gas companies in the Northeast (Con Edison, National Grid, PSE&G and PECO). Inspections performed by Large and Small VGC on 12-, 16- and 20-inch cast iron and steel pipelines achieved travel distances up to 500 feet in a single direction. This provided companies with critical pipeline information prior to any repair/rehab work being performed. Repair/rehab work being considered included internal joint sealing using Cast Iron Joint Sealing Robot (CISBOT) technology and Cured-in-Place lining. For example, recently ULC Robotics performed an emergency internal video inspection of a leaking 16-inch diameter cast iron main for Con Edison located at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge in Manhattan. The Small VGC was used to pre-inspect the leaking pipeline prior to the rehabilitation. This provided Con Edison and the contractor with critical information during the planning stage. Shown nearby are two pipeline problems uncovered by video inspection that enabled pipeline operators to make the appropriate repairs.

Pipeline periscope
Pipeline Periscope is a high-resolution video inspection tool for use in live 12- to 48-inch low and medium pressure mains. It is designed for quick and easy access and permits a visual inspection of up to 200 feet from a single taphole (100 feet in each direction). The no-blow operation allows direct mounting of Periscope’s access tube to a gate valve. A control system is attached to the Periscope via cable that allows remote camera and lighting control. The camera has pan, tilt, and zoom capability and provides high-resolution video imaging of a one inch object 100 feet from the entry point. The Periscope device enters the pipe through the 4-inch diameter taphole drilled with standard tapping equipment. After the inspection a standard completion plug is installed. No special fittings are needed during the process.
 Water infiltration and pipeline leak

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