Starting/ending date: 01/09/2008-31/08/2012
Financing: 207.172 €
European project
Dr C.J. Smith, Marine Biological Resources

Surfacing system for ship recovery. The proposed research is for engineering development for a salvage system to refloat sinking or sunken ships.

HCMR is involved in the engineering review, feasibility studies, concept definition and sea trials of a prototype system.Propagation of spillages is one of the largest environmental problems following a ship disaster. Instead of cleaning dirty areas, the SUSY system will avoid sspillages by stabilizing vessels immediately after an accident.

The main goal of the project is the development of well known submarine rescue technology into system usable for merchant ships in emergency situations. The systems for submarines are based on satellite booster technology with liquid or solid fuel to blow water out of the ballast tanks in a very short time to provide additional buoyancy to stop, for example, an uncontrolled diving process. Combining this technology with air pressure systems and balloon technology to create a multi-purpose modular system for ship rescue purposes is the SUSY project target.
Therefore booster technology combined with pressure air technologies has to be adapted to salvage procedure requirements. In combination with new balloon textiles a secure vessel stabilisation process, as well as the salvage process, will be supported.

Different application scenarios/concepts can be envisaged: 1) preventative installation of rescue systems on ships with hazardous cargo, 2) equipment for coast guard and rescue squads to quickly stabilise capsized ships and 3) equipment for teams to lift sunken ships.
The technical challenges for SUSY where research is needed to develop the envisaged system are (1) developing a hydro-dynamical and a thermo-dynamical model as basis for a controlled process for the different possible scenarios, (2) developing a safety and secure buoyancy generating system based on liquid and solid fuel and air pressure, (3) find the right material to cope with the pressure, temperature and dynamic loads of the rescue scenario, (4) define a life-cycle cost model to assure the design of a low cost modular system, (5) simulate the different scenarios to provide input for the design optimisation, (6) Finally SUSY will build a prototype to proof the concept in real sea tests.