Mike Slinn / Personal Pages

BONNIE III - Non-Contact Nuclear Boiler Inspection

In 1988 Ontario Hydro mounted ultrasound transducers on the 'fingers' of a robotic arm.  The disk from a nuclear reactor's boiler was rotated, and the quality of the surface of the boiler was determined by a custom signal processing system.  I reported to David Hutchins, who co-authored an IEEE paper on the inspection technique.

I was contracted to write the display software using a programmable Pepper Pro video board.  This gave us the ultimate in speed, since the video card's processor was more powerful than the 80386 used in the Compaq.  The language I used was C.

Here are some pictures we took at the end of the project.

You can see the three giant fingers of the robot arm gripping the boiler disk:

This is a closeup of the robotic hand around the disk:

This is what the hand looked like all by itself:

Here is a view of the console, manned by an Ontario Hydro employee:

Three-dimensional images were returned by the ultrasound transducers.  I programmed a customizable palette so surface defects could be observed easily.  The images could be zoomed in and out:

This shows the same image at a higher magnification:

Still the same image at a higher magnification:

I provided the ability to view the data in black and white: