OSU’s RCRV finally has a name! Check out this article to get a little background on how Taani was chosen as the name for OSU’s next ship. Here’s a little graphic that gives a bit of history on OSU’s ship names going back to about 1960. See a pattern?
By the way, editorial tip: ship names should always be italicized and not preceded by the word “the” as they should be treated like a person’s name. However, the name of a class of ships (The Oceanus class, for example) is not italicized. So I guess the RCRV class will now be known as the Taani class. There it is.
Also, I’d like to give a quick shout out to the latest addition to RCRV, um, Taani team. Dash360 is now on board helping with Project Controls. They’re already doing great work for us and I’m excited to see what they can do. I should add that they produce a podcast on project management, so you know they mean business. I actually encourage you to check out their latest episode in which they interview for Navy Seal Lawrence Yatch. He was the keynote speaker at NSF’s Large Facilities Workshop this year and provides exceptional wisdom. Check it out!
I’ve been getting some good feedback on this blog. People apparently appreciate the transparency (thanks, I’m trying) and also the technical tidbits. So with the latter in mind, I’m going to more regularly highlight some of the ships’ more interesting features. Here’s one.
Perhaps the single most important instrument on any research vessel is the CTD. I’ve personal conducted literally hundreds of CTD casts (thousands?)… they’re the bread and butter of any cruise, pretty much. So how the CTD is handled really matters. Say it takes one ship 5 minutes faster to deploy or recover a CTD than another ship. Over the course of a 2-week cruise that can equate to many hours of lost productivity. The design of the system will make a huge difference over the life of the vessel. That’s why we’ve put a lot of thought into this, and so have our partners at Rapp/Triplex and we think we have a workable solution, though it’s not ideal due to constraints we have from other equipment and the layout and size of the ship. For an example of very solid approach, check out the following shots from Sikuliaq (and this video). They have an deployable boom that can daintily set the CTD at the water’s edge and bring it inboard for processing with just a touch of a button.
This is the overhead crane type used on Sikuliaq to deploy/recover CTDs.
This is an empty CTD frame being brought on board Sikuliaq into its Baltic Room using the overhead crane. The docking head provides a bit of a cushion for recoveries. Ours will look very similar.
Here is an animated video of the whole thing in action. Investigator, the ship in the video, is Australia’s new research flagship has a lot great features like this (and cool videos, too).
On a smaller ships like those in the Taani class, we don’t have the luxury of a Baltic Room from which to deploy and recover CTDs and work the samples. (The term Baltic coming from their prevalence in that region to keep their folks out of the bad weather.) So we had to come up with another solution.
Enter the deck skidder. Workboats in the oil and gas industry have been using rails on decks to move equipment around for a long time. Here’s a cartoon example of a big one:
You can see the rail in this photo going fore/aft into the vessel’s large hangar. Note that the rail is recessed into the deck.
This approach is not all that common on research ships, though Roger Revelle does employ an elevated rail system and a little trolley.
You can see the orange rails leading into the vessel’s lab spaces. This is a similar approach to what we’re going with. Taani’s track will be bolted to the deck so it can be removed if necessary. To avoid tripping hazard, however, it will be surrounded with lightweight fiberglass grating which will be tapered down to the deck level. We expect the CTD to be moved by an electric chain drive, which eliminates the danger of an oil leak. Somewhat similar systems have been added to other ships, but they are rarely as integrated as this, and usually involve tuggers and cables and are awful tripping hazards.
So basically the CTD will be brought on board and set on a trolley using a Triplex LARS (Launch and recovery system). Then, should the scientists wish to process the samples out of the weather, the trolley/CTD will be translated forward on the rail into the wet-lab. The wetlab will have a roll-up door to allow easy and complete access for the system. Once in the wetlab, it can be secured in place and worked on. Here’s a little picture of it. I’ll ask my animators if they can make a better version of it actually on the ship rendering that I can post later.
You’ll notice, by the way, that there’s a second position. That right hand bend in the rail is so that the CTD can be moved out of the way (all the way outboard in the wetlab) to provide easy access into the main lab for mob/demobing purposes.
One more graphic to sum it all up:
If you have any questions about this system, drop them in the comments below. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll ask the right people. Thanks again for reading. And have a nice long weekend, if you’re so lucky.