Deep Down Ships Proteus Active Heave Compensation Unit

Deep Down, Inc. has delivered a Proteus(TM) Active Heave Compensation Unit to Schlumberger for deployment in waters outside the Gulf of Mexico.

The Proteus system is designed to maintain vertical displacement of a subsea payload to within six-tenths of an inch even if the surface deployment vessel, or ship, is experiencing a heave of up to 30 feet. The control system monitors these vertical motions and compensates by releasing and retrieving the main winch to keep the payload essentially still. After extensive testing, Deep Down has further enhanced the performance of its Proteus system and added an additional roller guide option for extremely smooth operation. The mathematical algorithm embedded in the software has also been improved to allow the system to respond to changes in a ship's vertical motion within 0.5 milliseconds.

In addition to new stand-alone Proteus systems, Deep Down has the ability to deliver in-line active heave compensation systems that can be retrofitted to existing winches, thereby adding active heave capabilities to an existing infrastructure. This ability allows prospective customers to preserve their capital investment in existing winches and substantially reduces the cost of adding this increasingly important capability.

"Our Proteus design continues to exceed customer specifications. We are now capable of producing Proteus systems on a mass production level. In addition to the original vertical design for lighter load applications, we can also deliver a horizontal, scaled up, higher tension version of our active heave compensation system to augment Abandon and Retrieval winches in the 50-100 ton range. We envision these Proteus units selling from $500,000 for the smaller units up to $1.5 million each for the larger applications," says Ronald E. Smith, Deep Down's President & CEO.

"Our design uses no motors or gear boxes, and we can, therefore, deliver Proteus units very quickly. Proteus units can be added to an installation contractor's list of deepwater equipment to enhance their overall installation capabilities. Since we are not impacted by the long delivery times that exist for motors and gear boxes, an installation contractor can add a Proteus unit to their inventory for use in soon to be initiated installation campaigns," concluded Smith.