Palfinger equips the world’s most advanced research vessel
OceanX recently launched a new, one-of-a-kind scientific research, media production, and exploration vessel – the OceanXplorer. With a range of tailor-made equipment, Palfinger’s marine business is one of the major suppliers onboard the world’s most advanced research vessel.
Sverre Mowinckel-Nilsen, sales director of Palfinger’s marine and handling solutions says, “Our skilled engineers worked closely with the OceanX team so that all demanding requirements for handling their submersibles were met.” Important was the development of a 40t knuckle boom A-frame designed and made specifically for the launch and recovery of OceanX’s Nadir and Neptune submersibles.
To ensure best handling of these two Triton submersibles as well as the autonomous free-swimming Remus, OceanX relies on solutions provided by Palfinger.
The Most Advanced A-Frame
Mowinckel-Nilsen explains, “At the 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 onboard. The result is the most advanced A-frame ever installed onboard a scientific research vessel.” Having an SWL of 40t, 20t in personnel lift mode, the A-frame covers all the requirements from OceanX both now and into the future. The knuckle boom A-frame design provides a larger working area than conventional A-frame design, it is especially developed to be able to reach fully on to the deck for service and maintenance.
Palfinger has also supplied a 10t towing winch for towing the submersibles during recovery operations and a 10t Active Heave Compensated (AHC) emergency recovery winch. The AHC winch is capable of working down to 1500m (4920 feet) water depths and will be used to recover the submersibles in case of emergency. For general cargo handling onboard, Palfinger delivered a 30t knuckle boom offshore crane.
“Working closely with the OceanX team for this project has been a great pleasure. They know what they want, they just needed to find a supplier which could make the impossible possible,” says Mowinckel-Nilsen. Right now, the R/V OceanXplorer is on its maiden voyage to the Red Sea to study the global-warming-resistant super corals to be found in the region.
Some 80% of the Earth’s oceans are still unmapped and 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 deep water home and were the first to explore the deep ocean around Antarctica taking a sub 1000 meters down. To continue their work and documentaries, a one-time petroleum support and survey ship has been completely retrofitted at Damen Shiprepair in the Netherlands into the most advanced exploration, research and media vessel ever built, the R/V OceanXplorer.
You can see footage of the OceanXplorer and the Palfinger cranes here. https://youtu.be/uHh0u21lDDc