Vessels can temporarily perform specialist duties such as survey and subsea work with the right equipment on board
Okeanus Science and Technology is a Houston-based producer of specialist equipment for the subsea and survey vessel market, including oceanographic winches, handling systems, and launch and recovery systems (LARS)
The company recently designed and constructed a high-capacity portable A-frame. Commissioned by marine environmental consultancy CSA Ocean Sciences, the A-frame is designed to be broken down for shipping and transport and can be reassembled when required for mobilisation on a range of marine assets. Bolt-down plates are used to secure the A-frame to sacrificial base plates
The A-frame has a safe working load rating of 20,000 lbs (9.1 tonnes) luffing and 30,000 lb (13.6 tonnes). It has completed its factory acceptance tests and been shipped to the customer.
Equipment of the type required for CSA Ocean Sciences’ deployments would normally require a permanently fixed A-frame. CSA Ocean Sciences chief executive officer Kevin Peterson said: “Working closely with Okeanus engineers, our team was able to develop a high-capacity A-Frame that can be quickly and safely mobilised on a vessel of opportunity without sacrificing performance and reliability.”
Equipment that can be easily mounted on a range of vessels is also in demand in newer areas of offshore development, such as deepsea mining. Okeanus is providing an active heave-compensated umbilical winch and a skid-mounted A-frame-style LARS system to Japanese NiGK Corporation to form part of a cobalt crust sample collection package.
NiGK is providing Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) with a drill, umbilical and topside control vans in early 2020, and the 10-tonne winch and LARS will be used for deployment of the drill to obtain core samples of cobalt crust deposits.
The LARS incorporates features including telescoping A-frame legs, and a docking head assembly incorporating a failsafe latch, rotate function, over-boarding sheave, and motion damping feature that will allow for safe and efficient shipboard deployment and retrieval operations even in relatively high sea states. The umbilical winch incorporates grooved drum covers from LeBus and an active heave compensation control system provided by Bergen-headquartered Scantrol.
Okeanus’ Ted Brockett comments: “The system we are developing addresses the need for cost effective means to acquire seafloor core samples of hard mineral deposits from ships of opportunity.”