Met Box Visualization System

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Sponsors Idaho National Laboratories
Team Name S.A.S.S.
Duration 2018 - 2019
Faculty Adviser
  • Matthew Swenson
  • Brndon Hillard
  • Idaho National Laboratories
Team Members
  • Jack Armstrong
  • David Severud
  • Nick Sentieri

Design a remote visualization system needed in a hot-cell with a high radiation dose level to enable real time remote monitoring of microscopy equipment. The equipment inside is only accessible via robotic manipulators operated outside of the hot-cell and thus the system must be design to this parameter.

Problem Definition[edit]

Idaho National Laboratories has a hot cell like environment known as a Met Box. This Met Box has only one clear view into it, through the front window. Operators work microscopes and hardness tester from either side of the box without any view of their machinery. The operators need to have a way to determine the motions of their machinery in the Met Box without having to move from their stations.


The Idaho National Laboratory is a government facility and is the nation’s leading center for nuclear energy research and development This research is extremely important and valuable for a variety of people, institutions, and for the advancement in the nuclear field.

Our project sponsored by the Material Fuels Complex facility at the INL is to create a remote visualization system needed in a hot cell to enable real-time remote monitoring of several microscopes and a microhardness tester. The current visualialization system, is composed of two parts. The first being a window in which the operator setting the samples on the microscopes and microhardness tester. The operator does not have a view over the top of the two devices to view the outputs. The second part of the current system, is a workstation located around the corner of the hot cell from the window where readouts from the microscopes and microhardness tester are displayed. This current system lends itself to miscommunication when testing.


Our system will enable both the operator and the workstation user to have direct line of sight over the top of the microscopes and microhardness tester. These improvements will allow the MFC facility to more efficiently and properly characterize materials used everyday in the nuclear industry, which will inturn advance research and development overall.


The visualization system must be accommodating to Met Box parameters: System must be introduced to the Met Box in some form through a 20 inch porthole in the top of the Met Box. System is to be handled and constructed by two manipulators that are operated from outside the box. Manipulators have a maximum weight restraint of 10 pounds, with a recommended actual usage restraint of 6-5. Electrical ports are located in the back left corner of the box, and as such any necessary wires must exit from this port. The maximum manipulator clamp extension is 10 ¼ inches. The system must be able to withstand radiation dose levels within the met box.The system needs to last 2200 hours with a maximum usage of 110V of electricity.The visualization System must be able to acquire multiple views of the different equipment.

Project Learning[edit]

Shielding Materials[edit]


The criteria I have been using to look for cameras comes from our requirements include a camera that can zoom, and ideally has the capability to adjust the angle to view. All of the cameras have the ability to zoom, however, some do no have the capability to adjust the angle. We could potentially correct this by manually adjusting the angle with the manipulator, or include and additional system that does this independently. I have includes links to the different cameras below.

Cameras Researched:

[ RT-200 ] : This camera has the ability to zoom to our specifications and can adjust the angle of view.

[ R941 Compact Nuclear Zoom Camera ] : This camera is one that cannot adjust the angle, but does have the capability to zoom. This is a small rad camera, so shielding would most likely not be needed. The only issue is that it might be very expensive.

Tripods & Mounting Equipment[edit]

Three design concepts were initially developed for the project. Octopus Legged Tripod Preadjusted Tripod Electromagnet wall mount

I learned that the max height for a Octopus tripod sold today is around 14 inches. Our design needs to have a height of at least 24 inches to view the microscope or hardness tester. So this design will not work.

Preadjusted tripods should work for the height requirement of 24 inches. However this design does not meet the spatial requirement for transferring objects into the Met Box. Could potentially modify one to fit the spatial requirements.

There are a wide range of electromagnets that could handle the load of the system. Information from INL proved that the sides of cell were magnet. But the system’s electronics would likely fail due to radiation, so this concept is not sufficient.

Current Direction[edit]

Final Design[edit]


File:Design Validation Plan & Results.pdf

Team Members[edit]

David Severud

Major:Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Poulsbo, WA
Graduation Date: May 2019
Future Goals:'Find a job in industry.'

Nick Sentieri

Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown:'Idaho Falls, ID'
Graduation Date:'May 2019'
Future Goals:'Eventually returning to Italy to work as an engineer.'

Jack Armstrong

Major:Materials Science & Engineering
Hometown: Bend, OR
Graduation Date: May 2019
Future Goals: Work in industry with nuclear materials.

Additional Documentation[edit]

Project Schedule


Project Budget


Meeting Minutes




Client Interview