At a sprightly 5 metres a minute top speed, the GRAID robot is not going to beat Usain Bolt anytime soon but never the less one of the key requirements for the NIC project was to be able to travel 100m without requiring the launch vessel to move. This test would not be able to be carried out on the rig as it was never designed to have a 100m long straight section, thankfully there was such a set up at the RAF Spadeadam Research and Development facility, run by DNVGL.
On a standard day in Cumbria where it seems that all seasons of weather happen in 12 hours the team moved Project GRAID and the UMS to the 100m pipe section. The test was completed successfully and all of the systems worked as they should. It was a fantastic opportunity to see how the motor systems would cope with being run for a prolonged period and also to fully unwind the UMS tether. Calibration was also carried out on the instruments which record distance so that the team know the chainage travelled accurately for when GRAID is on a live transmission site. Well done to the team for another milestone met and thank you to DNVGL for letting us use their 100m pipe section.