(e.g., data services that provide either prepackaged or customized data products, ship routing, and environmental forecasting for offshore operations), and firms that specialize in exploration, development, and transportation of offshore oil, gas, and minerals.

DEEP-SEA TECHNOLOGY

ONR has a long history of research and technology development for Navy application in the deep-sea environment. The primary commercial interests in this area are involved in offshore oil and gas exploration and production as well as pipeline operation and maintenance. Deep-sea mining is another potential application; activity in this area has been somewhat sporadic as the presently available technology has not made deep-sea resource development economically viable.

The discussion below should be considered only a sampling of the available and emerging science and technology at ONR that is applicable for transfer to deep-sea commercial interests. ONR science and technology applicable to non-military deep-sea operations are included in the following categories:

  • Surface/subsurface seakeeping

  • Fabrication techniques and materials

  • Remote vehicle design and operation

  • Environmental characterization

  • Operational systems support

Surface/subsurface Seakeeping

For the design of ships and other seagoing platforms, ONR has conducted extensive research and developed a considerable body of technology in the area of naval architecture. Available data and models relate wind, waves, and hydrodynamic flow to forcing functions applicable to structural design and analysis. Techniques for the design of deep moorings with chains and cables have been developed. Some of the available and emerging ideas include mooring deployment methods, innovative mooring designs (e.g., S-tether), expendable moorings, slack cable dynamics, and models for cable/riser strumming. ONR has also developed methods for obtaining and maintaining a precise position in the water column or on the bottom by using remote/portable tracking systems.

Fabrication Techniques and Materials

The construction of structures and piping for the Navy is done within ship and submarine construction programs. The Navy has developed a significant expertise in welding, particularly of high-strength materials, and materials testing



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