Through experience in several different aspects of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Whiskerstay has developed some skills that are more specific to the subsea industry.
DYNAMIC ANALYSIS OF SUBMARINE CABLES Electrical properties and response of high voltage submarine cables are well understood; however, the structural capabilities of such complex composite constructions are not - particularly in fatigue. In situations where a cable that has been designed to operate under static conditions, i.e. buried in a trench, has become exposed it is then subjected to cyclic metocean conditions over a range of frequencies. Such cyclic loading can, over time, cause fatigue failure of one, or a number, of the internal layers of the cable which can result in a dramatic decrease in performance of the electrical properties. Stabilisation of such a situation can be costly, and at times either not necessary or not required instantly; however proper structural analysis of the cable in the local metocean conditions is imperative to assess the rate of degradation of the internal layers and ultimately prediction of a service life of the cable with respect to fatigue.
HYDRODYNAMIC OPTIMISATION OF REMOTELY OPERATED VEHICLES (ROVs) Whilst many ROVs have incredible capabilities regarding operation in the deep ocean, are highly dexterous when it comes to handling items and have much equipment for monitoring and assessing the local environment - few are optimised for hydrodynamic performance. This limits the ROV to operations in very low currents (less than 1 knot), thereby reducing the locations in which the device can be used efficiently and effectively. Lack of hydrodynamic performance also results in an increased amount of power being required to move the vehicle around subsea, even in areas where currents are minimal. Without changing the size of the structural operational envelope of the ROV, such that it can be stored in specific shipboard hangars etc., various aspects of the device can be subtly altered which markedly improve the hydrodynamic performance. This results in less power being required to propel the ROV through the water, or means that the device can move more rapidly between desired subsea locations, or ultimately it may operate in locations with increased environmental parameters.
SMARTER SUBSEA HANDLING CONTROLLABLE BUOYANCY SOLUTIONS There is a continual search for new methods of marine salvage and decommissioning of structures in the open sea in order to improve control and lower operational costs. The concept design of a lightweight, cryogenic, marine, heavy lift, buoyancy system was developed through a consortium of companies led by Deep Sea Recovery. The objective is to be able to raise or lower high mass objects controlled solely from a surface support vessel. As part of the design process for such an arrangement, numerical simulation of the complete system was undertaken in order to develop mechanical, cryogenic and process control systems. The project required the development of a test rig for the cryogenic, marine, heavy lift, buoyancy system and associated test procedures. A prototype was tested in a hyperbaric chamber with good results - the current design has been developed to operate down to a depth of 1000m, with future plans to improve this to 2000m and beyond.
AIM DESIGN & TESTING DEVELOPMENT SOLUTION
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