Mini Inspection Rover for High-level Waste Double Shell Tanks

     For the purpose of inspection and monitoring efforts of the high-level waste double shell tanks at the Hanford site, a miniature rover that is capable of accessing the tank floors of double shell tanks through air refractory channels, has been developed. The miniature rover is a remote controlled vehicle with four wheels directly driven by independent micro DC motors. The rover have to navigate through channels as small as 3.81 cm by 3.81 cm, and includes turns with angles up to 90°. To avoid debris, the device travels upside down, magnetically attached to the bottom of the primary tank.

    A cable management system is necessary to provide a tangle free means of storing/supplying the tether for the inspection tool. A first prototype of the cable management system was developed with a stepper motor as the primary driving force. A timing belt is used to coil the tether around its base and can adjust the gear ratio of the system.