There should be flaws and defects on the inner surface during the producing period of a pipe, as well as contaminations and corrosions during the using period of it. A corresponding panoramic optical annular staring inspection system has been developed. It requires no rotating mechanism to exam the whole circumference of a cross section of the inner pipe surface at once, which results high speed inspection.
There are two main subsystems in this inspection system, the panoramic optical annular staring imaging subsystem and driving robot subsystem. The Flat Cylinder Perspective (FCP) is the principle to image a panoramic annular view to a flat imagery, i.e. a cylinder of vision imaged is flat. Our imaging subsystem includes a panoramic annular lens (PAL), which is critical and used to implement the FCP, a series of image rotation lenses, a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera, and an illuminating light-emitting diode (LED) ring. The CCD camera sending the signal to a personal computer (PC) via VGA signal results a real time inspection.
The driving robot subsystem is a fine designed complicated mechanism including a subassembly of stepper motor. It can drive the inspection system forward and backward continuously in the pipe along the axial direction. The experimental system reported in this paper has the following specifications: average detection resolution of 0.5 mm at the circumference direction and 1.0 mm at the axial direction of a pipe, and inspection speed of 15 mm/s.