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NSIRC student wins a CLAWAR Association Best Technical Paper Award

NSIRC student wins a CLAWAR Association Best Technical Paper Award

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Mahesh Dissanayake presenting his poster at the NSIRC Annual Conference 2016

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At the 20th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots and Support Technologies for Mobile Machines (CLAWAR 2017), NSIRC PhD student Mahesh Dissanayake won second place in the ‘Best Technical Paper’ category for his research paper ‘Development of a Novel Crawler Based Robot for Mooring Chain Climbing.’

Being the first author of the paper, Mahesh travelled to the conference in Porto, Portugal, where he also presented his research to delegates. His co-authors of the winning paper included Prof. Tariq Sattar (Director of the London South Bank Innovation Centre for Automation of NDT), Omar Howlader (Research Engineer at TWI Ltd), Prof Tat-Hean Gan (Director of Technology at NSIRC) and Ivan Pinson (NDT Section Manager at TWI Ltd).

After completing his BEng (Hons.) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from London South Bank University (LSBU), Mahesh joined NISRC and TWI in September of 2015. His research currently focuses on the development of a lightweight mobile robotic platform for inspecting mooring chains by using a robotic non-destructive testing (NDT) system in the offshore industry.

Fixed to the seabed, the mooring systems of floating platforms regularly endure high tidal waves, storms and other tough environmental factors, meaning it is critical that the integrity of the mooring chain is properly assessed and understood.

The development of a new mooring chain integrity inspection system, delivered as an autonomous device in the air and/or water, is a prevalent need for industry and, to date, no single device can meet integrity inspection requirements of mooring chains.

Mahesh’s research examines mooring chains that hold FPSO platforms (Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessels) to the sea floor, with a magnet adhesion robot that climbs the chain, using an array of ultrasound probes to inspect the chain for possible defects.

Specifically, the inspection carried out by the robot means that it will be required to climb from 30m below the surface of the sea, through the splash zone, all the way to the first link in the chain, situated underneath the turret. This means that any robot in development must be lightweight, and placed on a chain easily and quickly.

For more information on Mahesh and his research topic, visit his page on NSIRC.co.uk.

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