November 28, 2016

Using Hydraulics to Explore the Depths of the Sea

The Monterrey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) is the world center for advanced research and education in ocean science and technology. Utilizing a combination of instruments, systems, and methods, engineers and scientists research the deep waters of the ocean. Since the first historic submersible dive in 1985, MBARI has lead the way for underwater study of marine life and marine hydraulic cylinders play a crucial role.

MBARI is based in Moss Landing, California, the heart of the nation’s largest marine sanctuary. Ocean physics, chemistry, geology, biology, and social science, as well as information management and ocean instrumentation research and development are all studied extensively. MBARI places an emphasis on science and engineering with support from underwater vehicles, ships, stationary buoys, and an undersea observatory.

Marine hydraulic cylinders play a large role in the operation and maintenance of the diverse undersea equipment used by MBARI researchers. The three ships utilized by the MBARI contain extensive hydraulic systems. While there are standard systems used to control all three ships, two of the ships have extensive systems on board to launch and recover submersible craft, and maintain large buoys that are stationary in the water. The lifting hoists function similar to a standard crane, but must act fast and be nimble at the same time being rugged enough for the marine environment.

The two remote operated vehicles used by the MBARI aren’t small, or light, weighing between 7,000 and 11,000 pounds and 10’ by 7’ in size, lifting these remote-controlled craft from the ocean waters puts incredible strain on the lifting equipment. Precision and durability are also needed not just for the wet salty environment, but to capture the vehicles while the ship, and the submersibles are moving in the ocean swells. Both remote vehicles contain their own self-contained hydraulic system as well, to control swing arms, camera mounts, and control surfaces.

The MBARI ships also maintain unmanned craft that roam the ocean, recording images of undersea life, mapping the ocean floor in detail and taking samples to bring back to the lab for analysis. When this technology is coupled with their stationary buoys, and undersea observatory, a full picture of the oceans around us and how it’s evolved and changing can emerge. All of this heavy, reinforced equipment is maintained using the same precision controlled hydraulics that is needed for the lifting the submersible craft.

Hydraulic Cylinders Inc is proud to be a supplier for the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Institute, helping to research and understand the oceans around us. If you have a precision hydraulic cylinder need, offshore, or on land, contact the hydraulic cylinder experts at Hydraulic Cylinders Inc at (888)771-1894.