Explorer: Live distribution gas main inspection robot

Hagen Schempf, George Vradis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Federal government agencies and the NorthEast Gas Association have funded Carnegie Mellon University for the development of Explorer, a long range, un-tethered, modular inspection robot for the visual inspection of 6- and 8-in. natural gas distribution system pipelines. The robot can be launched into the pipeline under live conditions utilizing a commercial no-blow system via a specially designed attachment, and can negotiate diameter changes, 45° and 90° bends and tees, as well as inclined and vertical pieces of the piping network. The modular design of the system allows it to be expanded in the near future to include additional inspection and/or repair tools. The range of the robot is an order of magnitude higher than present state-of the-art inspection systems and is expected to fundamentally alter the way gas utilities maintain and manage their systems. A prototype system has been built, and has successfully completed preliminary field-trial deployments in live low-pressure cast-iron distribution mains in New York. The overall engineering design and functionality of the design, as well as present preliminary field-trial data are presented. This is an abstract of a paper presented at the 2004 International Gas Research Conference (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 11/1-4/2004).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Gas Research Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2004
Event2004 International Gas Research Conference, IGRC - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Duration: Nov 1 2004Nov 4 2004


Other2004 International Gas Research Conference, IGRC
CityVancouver, BC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy


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