UK: Caley Upgrades RV Atlantis’ A-frame Handling System

UK - Caley Upgrades RV Atlantis’ A-frame Handling System

Caley Ocean Systems is upgrading the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s (WHOI) R/V Atlantis research vessel’s A-frame handling system, to handle the new ‘Alvin’ deep submergence vehicle. The Caley A-frame handling system was originally designed and installed in 1983 to launch and recover the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute’s submersible ‘Alvin’ from the RV Atlantis II.

It was approved by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), in accordance with US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) requirements. The original Alvin submersible weighed was 35,000 lbs (15,909 kg). This was later upgraded to 40,000 lbs (18,182 kg) when the A-frame was overhauled and moved to RV Atlantis in 1996.

The latest mechanical, hydraulic and electrical upgrade of the Caley A-frame is for the launch and recovery of the new ‘Alvin’ submersible weighing 50,000 lbs (22,727 kg). Part of the project involves the installation of a larger winch, high performance synthetic ropes and light tension control system, providing accurate handling control of Alvin. The project is being executed in two phases: A-frame system engineering at Caley’s Glasgow facility and commissioning and testing in the US. The project is scheduled for completion by May 2012.

The Caley A-frame has been very reliable over the past 29 years as we have progressively increased the systems’s handling requirements,” said Albert F. Suchy, Director of Ship Operations, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. “We are confident that this latest upgrade will give us an A-frame handling system capable of meeting the oceanographic research challenges we expect to face over the next 15 years.”

Source: Caley, March 13, 2012; Image: WHOI