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Raising the Kursk



Raising the Kursk from the Barent Sea became possible due to the know-how of the engineering association IgH in Essen.

Tasks of IgH:

  • In June 2001 the Dutch salvage company Mammoet firstly engaged IgH to mathematically model the wave compensators - 104 giant pneumatic cylinders with 32 connected gas bottles each. The plant has a total volume of nearly 200.000 litres and is operated with nitrogen at a pressure of 100 to 160 bar. The purpose is to ensure a preferably uniform tightening-up of the mooring ropes.
  • Based on this model IgH developed the complete control and software concept for the salvage. This concept was implemented with the help of specialists of the Dutch company Raster.
  • As a training for the operators, which operate the five control computers in the control center, moreover a complete simulation model of the entire process is created in Essen.
    Part of the simulation model are:
    • the equations of motion of salvage pontoon and Kursk in all six degrees of freedom considering the hydro dynamic forces of the wave motion,
    • the thermodynamical model
    • and the mechanical model of the compensators and lifting mechanism. (We would like to thank Prof. Dr. Sharma and his assistant Rupert Henn of the Institute for Marine Engineering of the University of Duisburg for the active support).
    • the complete model of the PLC, including the sensors and actuators connected
    • as well as the interface for the control computers.

  • Via this interface it is possible to operate the control computers either by the PLC in the field or by a simulator. Besides training for this unique operation, where everything has to work at the first time, it is also possible to play through scenarios and determine the optimum reactions to dangerous and unexpected situations in advance.
  • The 52-member European team on board comprises Dutch, Belgians, Scots, Norwegians and Russians who, together with Dr. Rotthäuser and Dr. Hagemeister, are responsible for the management of the nitrogen containers.
  • Special features of the control software of IgH are the automatic calculation of the optimum load distribution on the 26 mooring ropes, which lift the Kursk and a specially developed control algorithm to adjust the gas energy in the wave compensators corresponding to the optimum load. This process is the precondition for a reliable control of the operation under conditions with wave heights of up to 3 meters.

For further information, contact: Dr.-Ing. S. Rotthäuser
or Dr.-Ing. W. Hagemeister

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