Alion Ramp Makes for Safer Ship-to-Ship Transfers

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News
Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The ability to readily transport personnel and equipment from one ship to another is vital to the success of many U.S. Navy operations, particularly when it comes to seabasing. But tumultuous waters and weather conditions can make the transfer process extremely difficult, placing both the crew and mission in harm’s way.
Under contract of the Office of Naval Research, Alion Science and Technology began work on a solution to make the process safer, inventing the Transfer At Sea (TAS) system, an actively controlled ramp to help neutralize Mother Nature’s effects on ship to ship transfers.
The uniquely-designed system counteracts the forces of waves and weather to function in choppy and turbulent seas with waves as high as 2.5 meters and winds as fast as 21 knots.
Under current procedures, navy crew – often lugging gear and equipment – must trudge across an unstable bridge connecting two vessels that are rising, falling, rocking and twisting at dissimilar rates.
So how does Alion’s TAS system work? Pivoting at its bases to counter the forces of rough seas and weather, the ramp reduces rolling and pitching to make transfers a steadier operation.
“The key to our solution is the active technologies Alion developed, which include an articulating platform and a sliding foot,” said Pete Flemming, VP and Manager of Ship Design Operation at Alion.
“These components automatically compensate for the varying movements of the two ships. This allows the use of a structurally-efficient ramp with mitigated motions, even in Sea State Four conditions.”
 Scaled versions of the ramp have been put to the test, first as a 1/12th scale model, then at quarter size. The success of the quarter scale real-world trial (which can be seen on Alion’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/user/alionmedia) “proved the viability of the system,” according to Alion, and warranted construction of a full-size demonstrator, scheduled to begin testing in September 2013.
If the ramp achieves its goal, it will make transferring, personnel, cargo, equipment – or anything for that matter – safer, Alion believes, ultimately pushing the Navy one step closer toward efficient seabasing.
And though the TAS system was initially created for the Navy, Mr. Flemming noted the potential for its future outside of the military sector. “There is a definite need for a similar system for commercial vessels,” he said. “[The ramp] could be used to transfer cargo from ships that are too large for a port to smaller vessels or could even be used to move cargo or people from ships that have lost power.”
But maintaining focus on the present goal, Mr. Flemming said, “Those uses are a long way off. The Navy is our priority.”
 

(As published in the August 2013 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News - www.marinelink.com)

Maritime Reporter February 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

Davie Building LNG-powered Ferries

Canadian shipbuilder Davie held a keel laying ceremony for MV Armand-Imbeau II, marking the beginning of the hull assembly for this first of two sisterships under

Keppel FELS to Deliver 100th Jackup Rig

Keppel FELS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) is on track to deliver PV Drilling VI, a KFELS B Class jackup rig, to PV Drilling Overseas (PVDO),

Brookings Institution Hosting Panels on LNG Marine Fuel

The Brookings Institution, a Washington D.C.-based think tank, will host a two-panel discussion on the use of LNG as a marine fuel on Tuesday, March 3, the organization announced today.

New Products

NMM lines up Box Buy

Navios Maritime Partners L.P. (NMM) an international owner and operator of container and drybulk vessels, announced today that it has secured, for no consideration,

Philly Tankers Lines Up Charters

Philly Tankers AS announced today that its wholly owned U.S. subsidiary, Philly Tankers LLC, has entered into binding long-term time charter contracts with a domestic end-user for the two 50,

Futuristic Bridge Concept by Rolls-Royce

In 2013 alone, Rolls-Royce invested £1.1 billion on research and development while at the same time supporting a global network of 31 University Technology Centers,

Eye on the Navy

US, Chinese Navies Conduct Joint Exercise

A U.S. Navy littoral combat ship and a Chinese Navy frigate conducted a joint training exercise in the South China Sea.   The U.S. Navy littoral combat ship USS

MCPON Stevens Delivers Congressional Testimony

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON)(AW/NAC) Michael Stevens testified before Congress Feb. 25. Stevens appeared before the House and Armed Services

US Keen in Maritime Cooperation with India

The US is keen in exploring great opportunities for co-operation on maritime issues with India, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations told members

 
 
Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2061 sec (5 req/sec)