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Hydrodynamic Aspects of the Torpedo Anchor Installation

[+] Author Affiliations
Antonio Carlos Fernandes

COPPE-UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Melquisedec Francisco dos Santos

COPPE/UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Jairo Bastos de Araujo, José Carlos Lima de Almeida, Rogério Diniz, Vinicius Matos

Petrobras, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Paper No. OMAE2005-67201, pp. 485-493; 9 pages
  • ASME 2005 24th International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering
  • 24th International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering: Volume 1, Parts A and B
  • Halkidiki, Greece, June 12–17, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4195-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3759-9
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


The torpedo anchor is a novel kind of device to moor floating offshore structures. It has been proved in practice that this kind of anchoring may be used for both drilling and production offshore activities. For drilling, it is indeed easily recoverable and for large production, it has enough holding power even for large production platforms. There are a lot of soil-interaction aspects to be considered and the installation is one of them. The installation procedure is to release the torpedo from a high enough position from the sea bottom to allow the device to reach the terminal velocity: A correct amount of kinetic energy at the bottom is essential for the penetration. Besides this, the anchor has to reach the bottom in a vertically up right in order to maximize the final holding power in all directions. Therefore, the work addresses two hydrodynamic aspects for the installation design and analysis. The first is the drag minimization and the second is the directional stability. If the drag is be kept to a minimum (without compromising, later on, the soil interaction) then the terminal velocity is higher. The work shows that parameters like the mass and the shape are essential for this. On the other hand, the shape and mass distribution have a strong influence on the directional stability. One important parameter is the rear line length connected to the anchor, which is necessary for further connection with the final mooring line: this parameter influences both the terminal velocity and the directional stability. The presence of the rear line and its role is a novel problem and it seems to have no parallel in other filed applications. The work addresses all this aspects under the light of a novel model testing performed in a model basin that is 15 m deep. It is important to say that this model testing procedure has been conceived to attend specifically the torpedo anchor evaluation. For that matter, the work presents an extrapolating mathematical model. Besides that, an analytical model is shown for the directional stability, together with time domain numerical evaluation. Different model have been used in the tests performed with and without the rear line. Finally, the work presents the model testing design including the use of imaging processing to get the anchor tracking during the launching.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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