Download Full Text (604 KB)


Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) has requested a design for a telescoping arm able to carry out vertical tank inspection aboard ships. This device will play a key role in saving time and money, as well as potentially decreasing health and safety risks. The current system is both time consuming and limited to incremental positioning. A new system will permit inspectors to spend less time and effort at this portion of the tank and possibly complete their task much sooner. Based on design criteria given by Newport News Shipbuilding, a telescoping mechanism will be designed to lower a camera 18 ft. into a tank to perform the inspection. There are five vertical access holes that the camera inspection system will need to be lowered into in order to inspect the tank and its various components. The device will allow for a stable inspection as it traverses throughout the tank. It will be able to raise and lower the camera at any moment along the path. The device will be able to support a camera up to 15 lbs.; while the system itself will weigh less than 50 lbs., allowing it to be carried easily by two people. It will also be able to fit through a doorway 2.5ft. wide and 5ft. tall. The parts used to build the new device will be both easy to replace and manufacture. By replacing the current system, the physical effort workers have to tolerate will decrease significantly and the inspection process will be considerably safer for the inspector.

Publication Date



mechanical and nuclear engineering, tank inspection


Engineering | Mechanical Engineering | Nuclear Engineering

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

John Speich

VCU Capstone Design Expo Posters


© The Author(s)

Date of Submission

August 2015

Vertical Tank Inspection Device