Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Ultra-deepwater and Unconventional Resources Program)
Robotic Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL) Sensor for Monitoring and Inspection of Deepwater Risers Graduate Student Design Project
Rice University, Houston, TX 77251
iTRobotics, Houston, TX 77251
The objective of this proposal is to develop inspection robots and nondestructive evaluation sensors for on-site inspection of risers in deepwater offshore platforms. We propose a two pronged strategy (1) development of a detailed analytical model of a deepwater semi-submersible platform and risers, with coupled analysis floating platform/mooring/risers, and to establish the dynamic response of riser for fatigue crack evaluations, and (2) experimentally evaluate remotely operated nondestructive evaluation sensor on a small scale riser at Rice University in collaboration with itRobotics, under dynamic response [computed in task 1] to which the riser is subjected to under normal and adverse operating conditions. The new idea that is being proposed in this study is to develop promising nondestructive (NDT) technique such as Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL) mounted on tether less mobile remotely operated robot to detect defects and fatigue cracks in real time. Such concepts have not been evaluated for large diameter deepwater risers. The performance objectives are an NDT MFL sensor carried by a remotely operated robotic crawler inside the riser, the displacement of which is monitored and controlled as it traverses the riser, and which provides indication of the structural integrity of the metallic components of the riser in real time. We will also develop new damage detection algorithms based on system identification and control theory. We will correlate the results of MFL technique with results of existing techniques. Technology transfer of the developed techniques will be given priority. The funding requested is for two years, is for a graduate student, who will be supervised by Professors Satish Nagarajaiah and Fathi Ghorbel of mechanical engineering and material science department at Rice in collaboration with itRobotics.
Principal Investigator: Satish Nagarajaiah