Ship ballast tank inspections

We’ve had someone inquiring if it would be possible to carry out ballast tank inspections with our BR2. This is generally visual inspections for corrosion. Ive been looking at videos of traditional methods for inspecting these tanks when they’re drained. The major constraint that jumps out is the risk of snagging. I’m wondering if anyone else has experience using the BR2 for this or if anyone else has given any thought to it.

There’s a separate discussion to have on ultrasonic testing of steel thickness but initially I’m interested in just the visual aspect.

Hi @GavXYZ,

I don’t have experience with ballast tank inspections, but given the structured nature of the environment it’s likely a good candidate for photogrammetry, which could also then be used to estimate the amount of corrosion (either manually or with some form of computer vision / trained model).

Cheers Eliot. Yes, the photogrammetry is probably the easy bit for us. I was hoping to hear that others have successfully used a BR2 for this. It seems like an obvious application. These tank inspections cause a lot of downtime. I see where the US Navy have trialed a VideoRay Pro 4 for ballast tank inspections. There seems to be an optional ultrasonic testing attachment too that they call a ‘swing arm’ which has a cygnus device on one end of it.

We don’t currently provide anything like this (although it is something we’re considering). For what it’s worth, I have previously worked on integrating a Cygnus ultrasonic thickness gauge, which I expect should be reasonably straightforward to transfer to a BlueOS extension. The more involved part then is setting up a mounting solution, and the relevant cabling/conversion to get the signal into the Raspberry Pi. This post has some relevant discussion.

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Hello Gav,
I currently use a BR product for industrial inspections. Long story short, yes you can inspect ballast tanks. Snagging is a general concern when working with industrial assets, the work around is a combination of having a good communication with client, ability to pilot well, and logistical back up (extra tether, batteries, etc.)


Hi NemoAbyss, don’t spare me the long story. I’m interested!