T-ARC 7 Zeus
Cable Repair Ship
The Cable Repair Ship performs maintenance on the Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) which is a network of strategically placed sonar sensors that provide early warning of submarines. The T-ARC class is capable of laying and retrieving deep water acoustic cables, and is also capable of supporting oceanographic research.
USNS Zeus is the only active Cable Repair Ship in the U.S. Navy. ZEUS is the first multi-mission cable ship designed and built by the U.S. Navy specifically as a cable ship. It incorporates advanced propulsion features, centralized integrated displays for monitoring ship and cable machinery parameters and functions, passive flume stabilization, better maneuverability and cable handling capabilities at both bow and stern, and survey equipment designed to combine high performance and versatility with minimal maintenance.
Main propulsion is diesel-electric (5 GM diesels), rated horse power is 10,000 (5,000 to each of two shafts), 5 main generators (GE), and 4 motor generators. ZEUS combines the main propulsion system with bow and stern-mounted tunnel thrusters in an integrated control system which provides the precise trackkeeping and position holding capabilities required for cable laying and repair, array laying operations, projector towing, acoustic surveys, and other mission tasks. Application of roll dampening techniques enable the ship to provide a stable platform for safe cable operations at slow speeds up to the maximum permissible sea states specified for each mission.
The Military Sealift Command operates ships manned by civilian crews and under the command of a civilian master. These ships, indicated by the blue and gold bands on their stack, are "United States Naval Ships" vice "United States Ships" as is the case of commissioned ships.
USNS ZEUS is fitted with a wide array of cable handling equipment including 5 cable tanks, cable transporters, DO-HB tension machines, self fleeting cable drums, overboarding sheaves, and dynamometer cable fairleader. The secondary mission of the USNS ZEUS is Oceanographic Survey. USNS ZEUS is fitted with both single beam and multi-beam (SIMRAD EM 121) sonars for bottom profiling and can deploy towed sidescan sonars and camera sleds. CTD systems and deployed Acoustic Measurement Buoys (AMB) and Environmental Measurement Buoys (EMB) provide data measurement of the ocean environment.
In a major initiative to harden deployed systems, the USNS ZEUS will be fitted with a Heavy Overboarding System (HOS). The HOS is a 32.5 metric ton A-frame designed and built by Soil Machine Dynamics, Ltd.. This system is designed to handle and deploy the CRS I & II, free swimming Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), the Sea Tractor, a bottom crawler, and the Sea Plow.
Cable Repair Systems (CRS I & II)
The Cable Repair Systems (CRS I & II) are free swimming, remotely operated vehicles. They are controled through a fiber optic umbilical to a Tether Management System (TMS). A neutrally bouyant tether allows the CRS to operate freely within a 600 foot radius of the TMS. In addition to the installed control and navigation systems, the CRSs are fitted with jetting skids to assist in trenching and cable burial. The systems are mission portable. They can be airlifted and deployed from vessels as small as ocean tugs.
The Sea Tractor is a 250 HP underwater system for the burial of cable in a wide range of bottom conditions using a dedicated set of cable burial tools. The Sea Tractor System is designed to be launched and recovered from the beach, from the deck of a dedicated ship using the Heavy Overboarding System (HOS), or from a suitable vehicle of opportunity (VOO) with an adequate handling system. The Sea Tractor is designed to perform the following tasks: (1) Locate and track cable, (2) Visually inspect cable, (3) Bury cable in a variety of soil conditions, (4) Bury in-line repeaters, (5) Assist in cable retrieval, (6) Cut or move cable.
The U.S.Navy operates a standard SMD model SCP1 cable plow. This plow uses a patented burial method which ensures that the cable has optimum protection beneath an almost undisturbed seabed in which the soil retains most of its strength. The plow can trench to 1100mm in a range of soil types. It is remotely operated from a control van on the surface vessel. The control van and the plow are linked via a small diameter, fiber optic umbilical which allows very long transmission lengths.
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