JRA 3.2 Equipment innovations for deep sea operations from vessels

JRA3.1. Advancing shipboard data management and data access
JRA 3.2 Equipment innovations for deep sea operations from vessels
JRA 3.3: Intelligent robot exploration

T3.2.1 Deep sea sampling equipment
T3.2.2 New deep-sea winch design
T3.2.3 Multipurpose crane/handling system for deep water operations
T3.2.4 Moon-pool use for deployment and recovery of research tools

The aim of JRA3.2 is to investigate and develop new equipment for deployment of deep-sea instrumentation and sampling. Such rigs are fundamental for the study of the sea since they are essential to deploy equipment from vessels. In large ships, the rigging that is available on deck can be varied and specialized for different equipment. However, in smaller vessels, where space and loads are critical, it is important to achieve interoperability of the rigs to be able to deploy different equipment, and also to have mobile equipment that can be installed on board only when necessary. Also, interoperable and mobile equipment could be shared and installed on different ships, offering practical, flexible, and more cost-effective solutions.

Task 3.2.1 will establish the extent and type of current deep-sea equipment in use. Task 3.2.2, will conduct research to develop new winch specifications suitable for European Research Vessels. This will explore different ways to optimise winch configurations and to develop and utilise new cable technologies. Interoperability of winches and drums, size and weight reduction and footprint standardization are some of the possible solutions which will provide more capabilities to ERV, especially those of smaller size for deep-sea research, a new frontier in oceanography. Task 3.2.3 will explore the development of a multifunction knuckle-jib crane normally used for loading equipment on board to double as a system for deployment of grabs and corer. Task 3.2.4 will focus on moon-pool use for deployment and recovery of research tools. The success of these tasks could have an impact on the future design of European research vessels and rigs, facilitate the exchange of rigs and winches (interoperability) and reduce risks and operating times. Standardization of operations and tools for oceanographic research will be also afforded.