Frequently Asked Questions
- What is included in the operator’s module where the robot is controlled?
- What happens if dangerous gas is present in the sewer during installation?
- Does the sewer system services need to be shut down for installation to take place?
- What course of action is taken if the sewer collapses after the cable being installed?
- As sewers age, they become more rigid and fragile. Is there a restriction concerning the life of the sewer with using STAR?
- How are the cables protected from potential chemical damage and rodents in the sewers?
- The city has concern about tapping into existing pipe, and potential damage that may result.
- What are the labor requirements for the operation of the STAR equipment
- What is STAR business model and market approach? Is it through the municipalities or directly with the Service Providers?
- What is the economic comparison between STAR and the traditional model?
- What are the limitations of STAR vs the traditional construction methods?
- What needs to be done to prepare the host pipe for the installation of STAR?
- Is there a limitation to the number of cables/conduits which can be installed within one pipe?
- The Sewer/Water Authority is concerned about their ability to carry out ongoing maintenance on their sewer lines with this cable installed on the inside of the pipe.
- What are the main obstacles experienced with the various authorities during the start-up phase, before the service rollout.
- What are the limits of the robots in distance in a typical set-up?
- What are the maximum and minimum pipe diameters the robot can support?
- How do I know my existing pipes will not be negatively impacted?
- What are the different types of pipes material supported with that system?
- Is there a proportion ratio between the Cable capacity (no of cores) and the pipe diameter? If yes what is it?
- What is the maximum number of cores within the cable, the system can support?
- What does the warranty cover?
- What about repairs, wear and tear? How do we handle that?
- Will one robot suffice the needs and demands of covering large areas?
The STAR system is controlled by a mobile unit that is designed to be self-enclosed. The unit comes with three basic modules combined into one mobile unit. The work area of the robot includes housing and maintenance area for the robots and a wench for placing the robot into the sewer manhole. The power module includes a generator for powering the unit and air compressor for specific operation of the robot. The operator’s module includes the computers and controls for operation of the robot. There are video monitoring and capture functions along with GIS location features. This area is climate controlled and accessible from both the rear and side for ease of use.
All STAR robots are designed and equipped with a monitor for hazardous environmental conditions inside of a sewer pipe during the installation process. In the presence of this type of condition, the robot immediately shuts down and can be retrieved until the condition is corrected through the introduction of fresh air. At that time the process can be resumed.
With the use of STAR, at no time does the service laterals or the mainline need to be shutdown. With flows that exceed 50% of the carrying capacity of the sewer, a by-pass pumping system may be installed per the discretion of the contractor.
If there’s a break in a bus topology, the nodes that are downstream from the break are cut off from the rest of the network hence with the location of the sewer pipe failure; a temporary jumper cable can be installed above ground to maintain service. The damaged section of pipe is excavated and removed with the fiber cable intact. The damaged section is replaced with split pipe or specially designed repair pipe, connected to the good pipe with a coupling, encased in concrete and backfilled. The temporary jumper cable is removed. In a ring topology, the nodes on both sides of the break will loop the path (self-healing) back towards the ring, so every node is still communicating with each other while the issue is being addressed.
STAR is designed to be installed in any type of sewer pipe or pipe condition. Because of this flexibility, various rehabilitation techniques can be used with STAR in place to repair and extend the useful life of the sewer pipe. These conditions can include but limited to Grouting, Sectional Liner or Full-Length CIPP liners.
The cables used in the STAR process are specially designed direct bury cables. They are protected by a protective outer jacket that is made of both an armored corrugated steel jacket and Heavy Duty Polyethylene Coating, which is both chemical resistant and rodent proof. Both of which are present in a sewer environment.
There is no compromise in the structural integrity of the sewer pipe once STAR has been installed. We have specific engineering studies that are available for review. Most cities in North America will make a tap that is either 6" or 4" in diameter in the pipe for service laterals. This causes no structural damage to the sewer because the sewer pipe is merely a carrier of the waste water. It is not designed for structural strength. The strength comes from the way it is excavated, the gravel used in the bedding and the way the pipe is backfilled. If a 4" or 6" hole in the pipe doesn't cause any problems, how can a 6mm (.23") cause a problem? The robot only drills e.g. 15mm hole in a 24 mm thickness pipe.
A Ca-Botics trained 3 man crew consisting of a foreman, operator and laborer is required for most installations.
Ca-Botics offers many flexible business models that reflect the market conditions that are unique to all corners of the world. STAR can be licensed to governments, telcom/service providers and contractors for specific geographic areas. These licenses can be exclusive or non-exclusive. Depending on contract size and scope of work, Ca-Botics can also provide services with STAR to distribute municipal networks.
Our economic model is a key advantage. STAR is typically 8 to 10 times faster than traditional construction methods at a savings of 33% to 66%, also eliminating the risk associated with open cut or directional drilling.
There are no real limitations as such, as our deployment is an alternative on the traditional cable deployment mode. We do the same level of work, significantly faster, for a fraction of the cost, and in an environmentally friendly way, in comparison to the trenching/directional drilling model.
The host pipe needs to be cleaned by a high water pressure to ensure debris and obstacles are cleared. The pipes would then need to be inspected using the CC-TV to ensure there are no impairments to the pipe that would negatively impact the installing fo the fiber cable. Any such defects can/should be repaired prior to the installation with STAR.
At no time does the STAR process occupy more than 1% of the cross-section of the pipe. In pipe diameters larger than 12”, multiple cables/conduits can be installed.
The STAR system was designed by the municipality of Tokyo, Japan after a terrorist strike took out much of the cities telecommunication system which had been placed in a subway tunnel. Realizing that the sewer infrastructure was the deepest and most remote infrastructure in place and completely covered the footprint of the city, they developed a robotic system to distribute a new network. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the government of Germany was interested in uniting the East and the West, without the cost and risk associated with excavating with speed being a priority. The local Telecom, Berlicom along with the sewer authority, Berlin Wasser, took the Japanese process, modified and improved it creating STAR, Sewage Telecommunication Access by Robot.
Sewer systems are all basically the same regardless if they are in Asia, Europe or North America. They need to clean their sewers, TV them, pressure test them, line them, grout them and keep them maintained. For that reason, STAR was developed to enable them to continue to maintain the sewer system just as they had before.
A municipality has never had an issue of not being able to clean the sewer pipe with the fiber cable installed with STAR anywhere in the world and this includes Toronto and Mississauga, Canada which helped pioneer the technology in North America. Over 90% of the municipalities are using high pressure jetting to clean pipe. STAR is designed to withstand up to 10,000 psi in cleaning pressure. All municipal units used in North America typically do not exceed 2,000 psi.
Obtaining Municipal Access Agreements or the right of entry in the sewers. Once educated on the benefits and process of STAR an equitable business structure needs to be established, which will result in a receptive and useful acceptance of the technology.
600'+ each way equating to 1200'+ in one set up running both directions from a manhole.
Currently 10" to 48".
Proven technology that has been developed worldwide for over 15 years. No failures to date with independent engineered studies which verify there is no damage to the host pipe. All fiber-in-the-sewer processes were developed by both telecom engineers and municipal sewer engineers. Never is the intended use of the collection system compromised and never is more than 1 percent of the cross-section of the sewer pipe occupied by the fiber cable. A municipality can continue to use existing processes to maintain the sewer system, to include high pressure cleaning, chemical grouting, cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) point repairs and CIPP lining from manhole to manhole. In addition, pressure testing of joints and manholes can be done as well as open-cut point repairs.
All types of pipe, including Clay, Concrete, Steel, Asbestos Cement, PVC, Polyethelyne and Clay Brick.
In USA we don't like to occupy more than 1% of the cross-section of the pipe. That would be 1 cable/conduit in 10" pipe. In larger pipes you can run many cables and not exceed 1%.
This all depends on the cable used. As long the outside diameter is 16 mm or less and direct bury cable, you can configure the cable design however you want.
The Warranty covers the robot from any failure not caused by neglect, abuse or normal wear and tear.
A fully equipped STAR units comes with spare parts and components that are accessible to the trained staff members. Subsequent to the required training, the trained staff will be able to do the routine repairs and maintenance.
Please be advised that these robots have been designed to be sturdy and are very much able to withstand the abuse of a sewer system, if any.
One robot is able to install a minimum of 300,000 meters (300 Km) of fiber optic cable per year, working a regular single 8 hour shift per day.