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Development of a New Capability for Analyzing Bending Stresses in Seafloor Observatory Moorings

DOEI Project Funded: 2002

Proposed Research

Moored buoy systems have been proposed as integral components of seafloor observatories in remote areas where shore-cabled systems are not feasible. In applications that require a high data transfer rate or high power transmission between the surface and the seafloor, these moorings will use electro-optical-mechanical (EOM) cables as the principal mooring line element. Examples of such applications are moorings for deep ocean observatories and moorings with Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) docking stations. Nearly all the previous studies on the dynamics of such systems have used the axial tension of the cable to evaluate long-term survivability. However, the principal members of EOM cables (i.e., copper conductors and optical fibers) are susceptible to failure mainly due to bending rather than tension. The goal of this work is to develop a new design philosophy for EOM cable systems based on bending stress. The result will be a set of engineering tools for designing future seafloor observatory moorings that use EOM cables and an improved means of predicting mooring reliability.

Originally published: January 1, 2002