The NASA Team operating the Neutral
Buoyancy Laboratory was very professional. The NBL tests and certifies
personnel and equipment for mankind's pinnacle engineering project - building
our outpost space station on the next frontier. For this mission,
the NBL has one of the world largest pools holding 6.2 million gallons
(200ft X 120ft X 40ft). Testing at the NBL is the latest measure
in bringing Maverick forth to meet the down-to-Earth task of inspecting
aboveground storage tanks.
Our goal was simple, but the task was
not. How do you retrieve Maverick when it is entangled in an unknown
structure such as a sump or a column at bottom of a deep large tank full
of jet fuel? The Atlanta Demonstration September 1-4 proved this
was not a theoretical question. The Atlanta Demonstration turned out to
be a success because we did retrieve Maverick from an unreachable snarl,
beneath 100,000 bbls of jet fuel. On the spot engineering best
describes the ingredients for this important work lesson.
Not even one month later, Solex Robotics
with NASA NBL divers, simulated trapping Maverick and the umbilical at
the bottom of the sump in the pool to test new procedures and retrieval
devices. At the NBL test, all the new designs and modifications
worked. It was a 100% success. The significant details,
however, are proprietary.
continues to set the world standards and is the only company trained, certified
(Class I Division 1 Group D Hazardous Environments) and capable of in-service
robotic inspection in tanks containing refined product, including fixed
roofs, floating roofs and internal floating roofs.