We work with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to develop cutting-edge technology used to support U.S. Navy capability objectives.

Large Vessel Interface Lift On/Lift Off (LVI Lo/Lo)

We developed a robotic marine crane for the ONR. The Large Vessel Interface Lift On/Lift Off (LVI Lo/Lo) capability enables the safe and efficient transfer of standard, containerized cargo between two ships at sea in up to sea state 4 conditions.

The specially engineered crane senses the relative motion of an adjacent ship and synchronizes the payload motion of the crane-hosting vessel to match, increasing safety and effectiveness.

The crane's end effector mates to the standard rail system of a container ship, facilitating the loading or removal of containers from the hull—regardless of the ship’s motion.  

Interface Ramp Technologies

Interface Ramp Technologies (IRT) is a Science and Technology program, funded by the ONR, that is committed to advancing technologies in support of at-sea vehicle transfer between ships in elevated sea states.

As part of the program, the Oceaneering team designed a new, motion-controlled ramp and demonstrated its motion control capability. The IRT ramp system incorporates a weight-optimized aluminum structure and an innovative hydraulic/electric motor arrangement that minimizes the overall system weight and power requirements. Additionally, the unique arrangement of system elements enables our ramp system to flex and compensate for large relative ship-to-ship motions.

We fabricated the major structures of the ramp, and assembled and load tested at our Hanover, Md., facility in July 2014. The ramp demonstrated its capabilities on a large motion platform that simulated relative ship motion. Military vehicles, including an Abrams M1A1 tank, traversed between the stationary base of the ramp and the foot of the ramp on the motion platform. The test was fully successful and the ramp was delivered to the ONR.

Advanced Mooring System

The Advanced Mooring System (AMS) is a Science and Technology program funded by the ONR to develop an at-sea, ship-to-ship mooring capability to support U.S. Marine and humanitarian aid operations. The system is capable of completing ship-to-ship mooring operations in up to sea state 4 conditions [8.2 ft (2.5 m) of significant wave height].

The modular AMS is secured at the rail of a host vessel to provide rapid, lineless, and automated mooring to a vessel maneuvering alongside. The system uses articulating vacuum pads on telescoping booms to attach to the hull material of an approaching vessel. The AMS increases crew safety, as no line handling or manual mooring adjustments are needed. Additionally, the system reduces surge, sway, and yaw motions associated with conventional mooring methods, and effectively reduces the motion requirements of ship transfer equipment including cranes and ramps.

Prior to delivery to the ONR, the AMS underwent extensive at-sea testing. In 2016, it was integrated onto a U.S. Navy host platform and successfully performed approximately 40 vacuum attachments to a simulated hull profile of a Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) vessel in protected, inshore conditions.