New Salvage Technique Developed In Sweden
A new way of salvaging ships by the use of a highly sophisticated balancing/regulating technique has been developed by the Gothenburg firm of MP Consult. The method also can be used for the accurate positioning of subsea pipelines.
A s u b m e r g e d vessel is first blasted free of marine growth and other clinging material, and a series of inflatable pontoons are secured to it by means of special fastenings. The pontoons — made of PVC, rubber, or other material — are then inflated by compressors aboard a surface vessel.
Any tendency for the ascending ship to list is instantly corrected by means of special computercontrolled valves that either feed more air to the correct pontoon or deflate it to the required extent. Tilts are thus c o r r e c t ed without delay. The computer also controls the compressor.
S i m u l a t o r t e s t s on the new method—dubbed octopus—carried out at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, have yielded very promising results. A major advantage of the new systems is that it can be controlled by only one surface vessel, and functions even in fairly rough weather.