Preliminary model tests for the design of a gliding deep water elevator

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



This paper presents progress on the design of a "smart elevator" to be used in conjunction with deep sea ROV operations. Deep sea elevators are gravity driven untethered platforms used to deliver and or return items from the sea floor. Elevators are used when items are too large or heavy to be handled by the ROV, or when the turn around time to recover and redeploy the ROV system for sample removal is prohibitive. Unfortunately, efficiency is complicated by the precision with which elevators can be landed at a specific location on the bottom and recovered on the surface because of currents and the inadequately known hydrodynamic effects. To improve the effectiveness of elevators we have investigated the gliding behavior of an elevator outfitted with wing foils in a variety of configurations. The foils are able to produce forward motion and turning that could be used to drive the elevator against a current or to a specific position on the seafloor. The results presented here for 1/10 th and 1/2 scale models show achievable glide slopes of forward to downward velocity approaching .5 for situations representative of typical operating conditions. ©2007 MTS.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Oceans Conference Record (IEEE)