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A conical laser light-sectioning method for navigation of autonomous underwater vehicles for internal inspection of pipelines

A conical laser light-sectioning method for navigation of autonomous underwater vehicles for internal inspection of pipelines
A conical laser light-sectioning method for navigation of autonomous underwater vehicles for internal inspection of pipelines

This paper presents a novel sensing method for navigation of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, AUVs, through pipelines to conduct autonomous internal inspection. Unlike remotely operated pipe inspection robots, AUVs do not have an umbilical cable and so they can easily maneuver through bent sections of pipelines and the distance they can cover is not restricted by the length of the cable. Presently pipe inspection robots come in contact with the walls of the pipe during their operation. However old and aged pipelines may have loose corroded materials or biological growth which may get detached and pollute the fluid or further damage pipe interior when the pipe inspections robots touch the walls. AUVs can operate without coming in contact with the pipe wall and so this technique is a non-contact measurement and inspection technique. The proposed navigation sensor makes use of computer vision techniques to estimate the relative position and orientation of the vehicle inside the pipe with 4 degrees of freedom, which will enable the AUV to swim through the center of the pipe. A conical laser is projected on the pipe wall and the image of the laser is acquired by a camera. The features of the image are extracted and matched with a feature database prepared apriori. The position and orientation of the matching feature record in the database gives the estimated position and orientation of the vehicle. Experiments were conducted in dry experimental pipelines to verify the performance of the proposed sensor and results are presented. Control Simulations were performed to verify the ability of the sensor to navigate an AUV. The results of these controls simulated are also presented in this paper.

Autonomous underwater vehicle, Feature extraction, Image feature database, Image features, Navigation sensor, Pipe inspection, Shape signatures
1-9
Unnikrishnan, P. V.
b12c290d-b187-482e-b349-f2961741e90a
Thornton, Blair
8293beb5-c083-47e3-b5f0-d9c3cee14be9
Ura, Tamaki
689db479-1520-4f32-bb7a-ed34b26b921f
Nose, Yoshiaki
0476398e-6755-4a4c-a434-86d89d641f5b
Unnikrishnan, P. V.
b12c290d-b187-482e-b349-f2961741e90a
Thornton, Blair
8293beb5-c083-47e3-b5f0-d9c3cee14be9
Ura, Tamaki
689db479-1520-4f32-bb7a-ed34b26b921f
Nose, Yoshiaki
0476398e-6755-4a4c-a434-86d89d641f5b

Unnikrishnan, P. V., Thornton, Blair, Ura, Tamaki and Nose, Yoshiaki (2009) A conical laser light-sectioning method for navigation of autonomous underwater vehicles for internal inspection of pipelines. OCEANS '09 IEEE Bremen: Balancing Technology with Future Needs, Bremen, Germany. 11 - 14 May 2009. pp. 1-9 . (doi:10.1109/OCEANSE.2009.5278263).

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

This paper presents a novel sensing method for navigation of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, AUVs, through pipelines to conduct autonomous internal inspection. Unlike remotely operated pipe inspection robots, AUVs do not have an umbilical cable and so they can easily maneuver through bent sections of pipelines and the distance they can cover is not restricted by the length of the cable. Presently pipe inspection robots come in contact with the walls of the pipe during their operation. However old and aged pipelines may have loose corroded materials or biological growth which may get detached and pollute the fluid or further damage pipe interior when the pipe inspections robots touch the walls. AUVs can operate without coming in contact with the pipe wall and so this technique is a non-contact measurement and inspection technique. The proposed navigation sensor makes use of computer vision techniques to estimate the relative position and orientation of the vehicle inside the pipe with 4 degrees of freedom, which will enable the AUV to swim through the center of the pipe. A conical laser is projected on the pipe wall and the image of the laser is acquired by a camera. The features of the image are extracted and matched with a feature database prepared apriori. The position and orientation of the matching feature record in the database gives the estimated position and orientation of the vehicle. Experiments were conducted in dry experimental pipelines to verify the performance of the proposed sensor and results are presented. Control Simulations were performed to verify the ability of the sensor to navigate an AUV. The results of these controls simulated are also presented in this paper.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 11 May 2009
Published date: 2 October 2009
Venue - Dates: OCEANS '09 IEEE Bremen: Balancing Technology with Future Needs, Bremen, Germany, 2009-05-11 - 2009-05-14
Keywords: Autonomous underwater vehicle, Feature extraction, Image feature database, Image features, Navigation sensor, Pipe inspection, Shape signatures

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 434070
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/434070
PURE UUID: b297858d-9fbc-446c-98cf-93084efbae72

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 Sep 2019 16:30
Last modified: 11 Sep 2019 16:30

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