What is RadPiper?
RadPiper is a pipe-crawling robot specialized for autonomous measurement of U-235 deposit within uranium enrichment piping. A detector assembly is mounted on the front to give RadPiper radiometric data. RadPiper is battery-powered and tetherless and self-steers using two tracks. RadPiper also safeguards against end-of-pipe conditions and obstacles in the pipe making it fully autonomous upon launch.
How Does a Robot Measure U-235 Deposits in Pipe?
A pipe-crawling robot measures U-235 from the inside of a pipe, and measures exactly where U-235 is located along the pipe.
A radiation detector acquires spectra of the gamma rays emitted by a foot-long segment of U-235 deposits on the pipe wall. The detector is shielded to limit detection to foot-long segments of pipe. The robot autonomously steers precisely along the pipe’s centerline and maintains the exact travel speed required for the radiation measurements.
The robot precisely models the geometry of the deposits on the pipe walls to aid in calculation of the U-235 content within the deposits and acquires quality images of the pipe to aid in analyzing the deposits. The robot’s odometry precisely tags all the radiation, geometry, and visual information correlates this to its accurate location along the pipe.
Post-Processing integrates all this data to compute the grams of U-235 in each foot of a pipe’s length.