Palfinger equips world’s most advanced research vessel
(BERGHEIM, Austria) — OceanX recently launched a new one-of-a-kind research, media production and exploration vessel – OceanXplorer. With a range of tailor-made equipment, Palfinger’s marine business is one of the major suppliers on board the world’s most advanced research vessel.
It is all about the knuckle-boom A-frame. “Our skilled engineers worked closely with the OceanX team so that all demanding requirements for handling their submersibles were met,” said Sverre Mowinckel-Nilsen, sales director of Palfinger’s marine and handling solutions, the development of a 40-T knuckle-boom A-frame tailor designed for launch and recovery of OceanX’s Nadir and Neptune.
To ensure best handling of these two Triton submersibles as well as the autonomous free-swimming Remus, OceanX relies on solutions provided by Palfinger.
“In beginning of 2016 we were contacted by the OceanX team inviting us to design a state-of-the-art launch and recovery system for their submersibles to be used on board,” said Mowinckel-Nilsen. The result has ended up being the most advanced A-frame ever installed on a scientific research vessel. Having an SWL of 40T, 20T in personnel lift modus, the A-frame coves all requirements from OceanX both now and for the future. The knuckle-boom A-frame design provides a better working area than any other conventional A-frame design, especially based on being able to reach fully into deck for service and maintenance.
Palfinger has also delivered a 10-T towing winch for use to tow the submersibles during recovery operations and a 10-T active heave compensated (AHC) emergency recovery winch. The AHC winch is capable of working down to 1,500-meter (4,920 feet) water depths and will be used to recover the submersibles in case of emergency. For general cargo handling on board, Palfinger delivered a 30-T knuckle-boom offshore crane.
Even though mankind has landed on the moon and sent missions to Mars and other planets, the great unknown next door is right here on Earth. It is the oceans of which 80 percent are still unmapped. Life below the seas surface remains almost as alien to us as the dark side of the moon.
OceanX – a team of researchers, scientists and filmmakers – found new species, captured the first-ever footage of the elusive giant squid in its deepwater home and were the first to explore the deep ocean around Antarctica, taking a sub 1,000 meters down. To continue their work and documentaries, a one-time petroleum support and survey ship has been completely retrofitted at Damen in the Netherlands into the most advanced exploration, research and media vessel ever built.