|Publisher||Offshore Technology Conference||Language||English|
|Content Type||Conference Paper|
|Title||Ten Years of Operational Experience With CURV III|
|Authors||Arthur J. Schlosser and Larry K. Brady, Naval Ocean System Center|
Offshore Technology Conference, 3-6 May 1982, Houston, Texas
|Copyright||1982. Offshore Technology Conference|
The CURV III (Cable-Controlled Underwater Recovery Vehicle) represents the US Navy's deepest operational unmanned vehicle. Operating to fulfill a variety of missions such as ordnance recovery, inspection and, as a work vehicle, to depths of 7,000 feet. The vehicle has also performed rescue missions. For life saving operations only, a depth capability of 10,000 feet has been established. A description of maintaining the CURV III System and the mobilization requirement for a fly-away capability are described. Dependent on the mission, fly-away may be accomplished utilizing C-130, C-141, or C-5A aircraft. Various operations are described to illustrate the versatility of CU RV III. These operations will include work systems such as cable-cutting and inspection of the Azores Acoustic Range, dredge disposal off San Francisco and the lifesaving capability as accomplished in the Irish Sea of the PISCES Submersible. Demobilization is also discussed. A review of system failures are presented along with the corrective action taken in the field and during maintenance overhaul periods. In addition, a discussion of integrating new technology into an 11 year old vehicle is presented to demonstrate interaction of the various systems employed.
The CU RV III represents the U. S. Navy's only unmanned vehicle capable of immediate response to any Navy requirement or national interest need for deep ocean work, recovery or life-saving capability. CURV III is located and operated by the Naval Ocean Systems Center, San Diego, CA. The vehicle is over ten (10) years old and has proven to be reliable and quite adaptable to work off of several ships of opportunity.
To appreciate the recovery history of CURV III, a brief description of the system provides a general concept of its basic capabilities with the added enhancement generated by the operators determination to accomplish mission objectives.
CURV III is an engineering prototype system composed of an underwater vehicle, cable, surface equipment and support ship. The vehicle is capable of recovering small objects and performing other light work tasks at depths of up to 7,000 feet (10,000 feet in emergency missions) in the ocean. The cable and surface equipment enable the vehicle to be deployed and remotely operated from a surface support ship.
The vehicle is strictly functional in design with components and subsystems mounted in an open frame (Figure 1). It is 6-1/2 x 6-1/2 x 15 feet, weighs approximately 5,400 pounds in air and is slightly buoyant in water. The principle subsystems are; the lights and cameras, the search and navigation equipment, the propulsion motors, the hydraulic system, the tool assembly and the structural units.
Lights and Cameras - Underwater viewing and documentation are provided by two Vidicon television cameras, four mercury-vapor headlights, two mercury-vapor spotlights, and a 35-millimeter camera with a 500 frame color film capacity and strobe light. These components are mounted on two independent pan-and-tilt units, each with 360 degrees of lateral and 180 degrees of vertical movement. The vehicle thus has full viewing and self-inspection capability.
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