Since the days of Jules Verne, many have dreamt of mining minerals from the bottoms of the oceans.
Over the years, Royal IHC has developed a vast range of equipment based on innovative ideas. Many of them were used in challenging circumstances and at ground-breaking depths.
With leading roles in the EU-subsidized Blue Mining, Blue Nodules and Blue Harvesting projects, IHC brought partners in the industry and sciences together to study the subject from different angles, combining theory and practical experience.
And now the company has used this experience again to design a launch and recovery system (LARS) for harvesting polymetallic nodules from the sea floor.
DESIGN FOR HARVESTER HANDLING
The abyssal plain – the underwater plain on the deep ocean floor where polymetallic nodules are found – is characterized by low shear strength and high sensitivity.
Any vehicle designed to drive on this surface needs to respect these characteristics.
This requires maximising the footprint and minimising the submerged mass. This combination of requirements results in a large, lightweight and delicate vehicle.
Read all about IHC’s design of the LARS in the newest blog by Wiebe Boomsma, R&D Manager Mining.