USA: PSNY Improves Safety Draft Marker via Innovation
A Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PSNY) engineer improved the process to safely monitor draft conditions of waterborne submarines at the shipyard with a remote controlled safety draft marker, NAVSEA announced Feb. 14.
A waterborne submarine’s draft must be constantly monitored to ensure it does not exceed its maximum calculated draft, as minor changes occur during material loading and offloading.
“The new wireless adjustment method eliminates repeated hazardous adjustment operations and highlights Portsmouth’s use of [the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s] Voluntary Protection Program tenets towards continuous improvement, ultimately saving cost and time,” said John Mooskian, the PSNY engineer who developed the new remote control. “The aft [draft marker] is located on the submarine’s upper rudder, which previously required periodic adjustments, placing workers in a personnel basket suspended from a crane and swinging them out to the submarine’s rudder.”
The remote-controlled draft marker eliminates potentially hazardous adjustments and reduces associated costs. The prototype was constructed and installed on USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720) and USS Topeka (SSN 754) by personnel in a small boat rather than a crane-rigged personnel basket.
Operational testing was successful and an improved version of the device is being used as the official aft draft marker for USS Pasadena (SSN 752). The improved model incorporates many updates including a higher capacity battery with a solar charging system.
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, a field activity of NAVSEA, is committed to maximizing the material readiness of the fleet by delivering first time quality, on-time, affordably and safely achieved.
Naval Today Staff, February 15, 2013; Image: US Navy