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3-D advanced gas-cooled nuclear reactor fuel channel reconstruction using structure-from-motion

Law, Kristofer and West, Graeme and Murray, Paul and Lynch, Chris (2017) 3-D advanced gas-cooled nuclear reactor fuel channel reconstruction using structure-from-motion. In: 10th International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Plant Instrumentation, Control and Human Machine Interface Technologies, 2017-06-11 - 2017-06-15, Hyatt Regency.


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During planned, periodic outages, a selection of fuel channels within the UK fleet of Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor (AGR) cores are inspected using specialist tools which record video footage and other sensory data for each channel which undergoes inspection. Current visualization techniques comprise of manually produced montages by inspection engineers of points of interest (i.e. structural defects) and 2-D panoramic images of the fuel channels automatically produced using bespoke image stitching software. Both techniques however provide limited structural information due to the loss of depth data as a result of the image formation process. By recovering the depth information from the footage, a 3-D model could be constructed and subsequently, allow for more accurate profiling of specific defects observed during inspection in addition to obtaining the fuel channels structure using existing footage. This work explores the preliminary application of a 3-D visualization technique known as Structure-from-Motion (SfM) which aims to obtain 3-D information by exploiting image correspondences across multiple viewpoints of the same scene in the RVI footage. This paper investigates the difficulties of applying state-of-the-art SfM to RVI footage and we present new techniques to improve feature correspondence searching in repetitive, non-descript environments.