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Technology Factsheet

Pipe Explorer Surveying System

Category: Characterization > Monitors > Asbestos Monitoring
Reference # : OST No 74 , DOE/EM 0440 Model No : Pipe Explorer

Science and Engineering Associates, Inc. (SEA) developed the Pipe Explorer at Albuquerque, NM as a deployment method for transporting a variety of survey tools into pipes and ducts. Tools available for use with this system include alpha, beta and gamma radiation detectors; video cameras; and pipe locator beacons. The Pipe Explorer can perform in-situ characterization of pipe internals. The Pipe Explorer system uses a pneumatically operated airtight tubular membrane to tow radiation detectors and video cameras into pipes. When pressurized the membrane inverts into a pipe with adequate force to tow the characterization tools into the piping, providing a clean conduit through which the sensors can travel. Two deployment systems are available on the Pipe Explorer, an automated system and a manually operated system. The automated system can be operated up to 50 ft away. Dimensions of Tech Model (LxWxH): Not Available Weight of Tech Model (lb): Not Available


The membrane serves as a protection against contamination. Because the membrane is inside out upon retrieval, workers do not come in contact with contaminants, cross contamination is eliminated, and the detector and tether are protected from contamination by the membrane The Pipe Explorer system deploys at faster speeds than the baseline technologies and can deploy at faster speeds than the baseline technologies (pipe crawlers) and can deploy past obstructions and elbows The Pipe Explorer system can perform in-situ pipe surveys, eliminating the risk of contamination when moving the pipe and the cost of dismantling or excavating the pipe or duct The Pipe Explorer system can work pipe diameters between 2-40 inches Utilization of off-the-shelf detectors and other components simplifies repairs and increases up time Generates less waste than manual excavation and disposal of embedded pipes Less costly than manual excavation and disposal of embedded pipes


System is not steerable Cannot be used in pipes with standing water Significant debris in pipe will block the deployment of the membrane Radiological measurements may be obscured by debris in pipe The detector deployment mechanism is more complex and harder to manipulate than the fiberglass rods used in Pipe Crawler Pipe must be vented to allow membrane to deploy Gamma detector cannot be as precisely controlled as with Pipe Crawler




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