PALFINGER equips deep-sea expedition
The great unknown is right on our doorstep. More precisely, right on our coastline: the oceans. They are still largely unexplored and the destination for many expeditions. The OceanX research team is a world leader in this area: They have succeeded in filming for the first time a giant squid in the deep ocean as well as diving with a submarine 1,000 meters below Antarctic waters. Now they are setting off again on a major expedition with their newly equipped expedition ship, the R/V OceanXplorer.
One of the many challenges? To launch safely and precisely the submarines Nadir Neptune and Argus ROV as well as the autonomous submarine Remus and to bring them back on board after each dive. In any sea state, in any weather, in extreme temperatures. What is needed to do this is a system that can launch and recover submarines to/from the water surface.
"OceanX invited us to develop a solution at the beginning of 2016," says Sverre Mowinckel-Nilsen, Sales Manager at PALFINGER’s marine business. The solution is the most advanced knuckle boom A-frame ever installed on a scientific research vessel. With a working load of up to 40 tonnes, the custom-made A-Frame handles every challenge OceanX faces.
PALFINGER also designed and supplied a 10-tonne towing winch to enable the submarines to be towed during recovery operations as well as an Active Heave Compensated (AHC) emergency recovery winch with which in an emergency the research submarines can be recovered quickly and safely from a depth of 1,500 metres.
"We worked intensively with the OceanX team to find the best solution. For us, this project was a special challenge and a pleasure. OceanX knew exactly what they wanted. They just needed to find a supplier who could make the impossible possible," says Mowinckel-Nilsen. Challenge accepted!
PS.: Together with star director James Cameron and the BBC Studios, OceanX will produce the six-episode series MISSION OCEANX for National Geographic. More information and photos at: http://www.oceanx.org/introducing-mission-oceanx/