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View Full Version : Revolutionary Crane Technology Is in Navy's Future



Lt-Col A. Tack
01-30-2011, 07:45 PM
This story is a bit dated, but I don't think it's been cover here before. If so, my apologies.

Revolutionary Crane Technology Is in Navy's Future

By Rob Anastasio, ONR Corporate Strategic Communications

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 2, 2010

ARLINGTON, Va.--The Office of Naval Research (ONR) successfully completed multiphase testing of the Large Vessel Interface Lift On/Lift Off (LVI Lo/Lo) Crane technology demonstrator recently, marking a major milestone in at-sea, ship-to-ship cargo transfer capabilities.

In this final phase of at-sea testing in the Gulf of Mexico, 128 containers were safely transferred in May from one ship to another with waves of up to 1 meter in height. Operators picked up and placed down an unobstructed container, lifted a container obstructed on several sides, and lowered containers into obstructed "holes."

"I've been managing this project for about 4 1/2 years, from the idea phase to the implementation and test phase," said Dr. Paul Hess, program manager in ONR's Sea Warfare and Weapons Department. "It's been very rewarding to see the capabilities of this technology come to life and to track its future potential impact on Navy operations."

Hess said the crane performed as planned yet proved more capable than the ship's mooring configurations would allow.

If employed in the future fleet, the LVI Lo/Lo crane will facilitate the flow of "containerized" logistics through the sea base to the shore, eliminating the need for a secure deep water port. It will also enable the rapid and safe transfer of containers, Humvees and other heavy loads at sea.

"The safety factor is also a huge advantage that the commercial industry is taking an interest in," Hess said. "Offshore oil companies are particularly looking at this technology from a safety perspective. For military shipboard applications, a regular conventional crane requires up to a 10-person crew for offloading material to other ships. But with this crane design, only three crewmembers are needed - one in the crane house and one on each ship. This greatly reduces the potential for injury or mishap."

Numerical and scaled physical modeling set the stage for a crane quite different apart from other available lift technologies due to its ability to actively compensate for ship motions. This early work led to the construction of a large-scale crane to more fully evaluate the potential provided by advanced control of heavy payloads for ship-to-ship transfer.

In 2009, a demonstrator crane was installed and integrated aboard the SS Flickertail State (T-ACS-5) to support transfer of standard 20-foot containers. Earlier this month, the Flickertail State embarked to evaluate the crane's performance in transporting containers between two moving ships in an operational environment using commercial and oil industry at-sea mooring techniques.

ONR has been in talks with transition partners about the future of the Lo/Lo crane, but no immediate decisions have been made to provide a way forward for the technology. The demonstrator crane on Flickertail State is available for future testing and to support the U.S. government's humanitarian assistance and disaster response efforts.

http://www.onr.navy.mil/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2010/Lo-Lo-Crane-Gulf-Mexico.aspx


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvId272itb0


http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/4840/091119n7676w079.thdotjpg (http://img140.imageshack.us/i/091119n7676w079dotjpg/)


More links:
Large Vessel Interface Lift-On/Lift-Off Crane (LVI Lo/Lo) (http://www.onr.navy.mil/en/Media-Center/Fact-Sheets/Large-Vessel-Interface.aspx)

Lt-Col A. Tack
01-30-2011, 07:54 PM
Large Vessel Interface Lift-On/Lift-Off Crane (LVI Lo/Lo)

The Large Vessel Interface Lift-on/Lift-off Crane, or LVI Lo/Lo crane system, and the supporting technologies being developed under this program, combine to provide an advanced cargo at-sea transfer capability that will allow vastly improved cargo throughput within the Sea Base.

The LVI Lo/Lo crane capability is being developed as a “system-of-systems” and provides advanced technologies that surpass existing technologies currently being used in the modern marine and material handling industries.

The system is comprised of a crane architecture supported by a sensor suite to detect crane, payload and ship positions/motions, and a control system to automate motion compensation and optimize operator demands. The crane architecture has two main subsystems. The “macro crane” consists of an eccentric arm that attaches to the ship and has the main crane housing at the end of the arm.

A boom extends outward from this crane housing. The gross relative motions are removed by controlling the movements of the eccentric arm and the boom. The “micro crane” is an eight-wire “inverted stewart platform” hanging from a wrist at the end of the boom. Each pair of wires is attached to one corner of a spreader bar that has twist-locks to attach to the top of a standard 20-foot ISO shipping container.

The micro crane removes the remainder of the relative motion and matches the motion of the spreader bar to the top of the container and locks the container to the spreader bar for transfer.

When the container is attached to the spreader bar, it can be controlled in all six degrees of freedom and does not pendulate due to the natural anti-pendulation properties of the inverted stewart platform combined with the system’s active motion control.

At a minimum, when the LVI Lo/Lo crane system is delivered, it will contain these subsystems: an advanced crane system (electromechanical actuators, machinery control software, energy storage, machinery sensors); and wave/ship motion sensing and control.

When delivered, the LVI Lo/Lo crane will give the warfi ghter the ability to move containerized logistics through the Sea Base without having a secure deep water port for off-loading container ships.

This greatly increases the throughput of the Sea Base and provides a key part of the logistics enabler for the initial fl ow and ongoing support of a Joint Task Force to the shore through the Sea Base.


What Is It?

The LVI Lo/Lo crane is an advanced motion-compensated at-sea cargo transfer system that will be able to transfer fully-loaded cargo containers between ships at sea in Sea State 4 and below by providing six degrees-of-freedom control of the payload without taglines.


How Does It Work?

The system enables the rapid and safe at-sea transfer of standard ISO containers and other heavy loads from military and commercially available ships onto the Sea Base. Capability details include:

Ability to maintain optimal cargo throughput rates through Sea State 4
Ability to transfer cargo between two ships directly alongside each other at zero forward speed or underway at slow speed in the open ocean.
Motion sensing and compensation for the ships and/or the cranes will allow safe and efficient transfer of cargobility to transfer cargo


What Will It Accomplish?

The LVI Lo/Lo crane is a key technology for enabling the fl ow of joint logistics through the Sea Base. Currently, to off -load a container ship, it must have a safe deep-water port.

By adding the LVI Lo/Lo crane to the Sea Base, the container ship can be off -loaded at sea, with the containers transferred to other modes of transportation for the final leg to the shore.

This eliminates the need for a secure deep-water port and enables the flow of containerized logistics through the Sea Base to the shore.

bikewrench
01-31-2011, 07:13 AM
Funnily enough things like this are a big deal. If they work.;-)

If you've ever seen a combat loaded ship, or a container vessel, you know that loading is everything.
Unless you CAN actually move stuff around. [A bit]

Lt-Col A. Tack
01-31-2011, 10:24 AM
Funnily enough things like this are a big deal. If they work.;-)

If you've ever seen a combat loaded ship, or a container vessel, you know that loading is everything.
Unless you CAN actually move stuff around. [A bit]

I think it could be significant, since you eliminate the need for a secure deep water port to transfer cargo.

And I would guess this kind of crane would have commercial applications.

Lt-Col A. Tack
05-17-2011, 01:57 PM
Video just recently uploaded to youtube by usnavyresearch

Not sure there's much new info

LVI Lo/Lo crane system

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOCk3gLJVuo

Ought Six
05-17-2011, 03:10 PM
One of the main uses I foresee for this technology is making the logistics of floating offshore bases more viable. The amount of materials needed to support such a manmade island full of men and materials is quite large. Resupplying it totally by helicopter would be a real strain. But if ships can tie up and offload containerized freight, that would be the perfect solution.

Another use I can see it reconfiguring LCSs at sea. Their flexibility depends upon being able to swap out containerized systems. If this can be done at sea in areas where we have no bases, that is an important capability. The LCS will be the most numerous class of combat vessel in our Navy, and supporting them is critical.

happyslapper
05-17-2011, 03:13 PM
Thanks for posting, A Tack.

It's hard to overstate the significance of this. Containerisation completly revolutionised the shipping industry, and can do the same to RAS'ing.

I dare say that naval planners across the world are watching this with great interest.

The Dane
05-17-2011, 03:18 PM
Very interesting, thanks.

Lt-Col A. Tack
05-17-2011, 03:42 PM
One of the main uses I foresee for this technology is making the logistics of floating offshore bases more viable. The amount of materials needed to support such a manmade island full of men and materials is quite large. Resupplying it totally by helicopter would be a real strain. But if ships can tie up and offload containerized freight, that would be the perfect solution.

Another use I can see it reconfiguring LCSs at sea. Their flexibility depends upon being able to swap out containerized systems. If this can be done at sea in areas where we have no bases, that is an important capability. The LCS will be the most numerous class of combat vessel in our Navy, and supporting them is critical.

I would guess being able to onload and offload cargo at sea in rough seas would make a big difference to the military in terms of mobility and deployability. One of those hidden enablers.

And you may have an idea there with the LCS there. (although I doubt the USN will ever make me a fan of the LCS.)


Thanks for posting, A Tack.

It's hard to overstate the significance of this. Containerisation completly revolutionised the shipping industry, and can do the same to RAS'ing.

I dare say that naval planners across the world are watching this with great interest.


Very interesting, thanks.

You are most welcome.