Automation of Condenser Tube Inspection

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00167-11-P-0439
Agency Tracking Number: N111-059-0131
Amount: $79,984.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: N111-059
Solicitation Number: 2011.1
Small Business Information
1012 Central Avenue South, Suite 200, Kent, WA, -
DUNS: 129867144
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Tyler Folsom
 Project Manager
 (253) 872-9500
Business Contact
 Milton Altenberg
Title: CEO
Phone: (253) 872-9500
Research Institution
The fleet presently has limited ability to safely and productively inspect condensers. Condenser failure can result in chloride contamination of the steam plant and loss of platform availability. The present inspection method depends on hard physical labor under unpleasant and hazardous conditions with an error rate of up to 3%. We propose to examine the work flow involved in acquiring, logging and using condenser tube inspection data. The path of the data will be analyzed and we will make recommendations to automate the system for improved productivity and accuracy. We expect that automation of the acquisition and recording of condenser data will yield measurable benefits. We will design a robotic or tele-operated mechanism that will enable the repetitive insertion of eddy current probes and recording of the results. We will examine several concepts for building the equipment as well as examining commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products. We will design vision systems or other methods to guide the robot to the tubes of interest in the condenser sheet. We will write software that enables the data to smoothly integrate with other Navy systems.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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