Review of Technological Advancements and HSE-Based Safety Model for Deep-Water Human Occupied Vehicles

This paper reviews the latest advancements in subsea technologies associated with the safety of deep-water human occupied vehicles. Human occupied submersible operations are required for deep-water activities, such as high-resolution bathymetry, biological and geological surveys, search activities, salvage operations, and engineering support for underwater operations. As this involves direct human presence, the system has to be extremely safe and reliable. Based on applicable International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61508 Standards for health, safety, and environment (HSE), the safety integrity level requirements for the submersible safety systems are estimated. Safety analyses are done on 10 critical submersible safety systems with the assumption that the submersible is utilized for 10 deep-water missions per year. The results of the analyses are compared with the estimated target HSE requirements, and it is found that, with the present technological maturity and safety-centered design, it is possible to meet the required safety integrity levels. By proper maintenance, it is possible to keep the mean time between failures to more than 9 years. The results presented shall serve as a model for designers to arrive at the required trade-off between the capital expenditure, operating expenditure, and required safety levels.


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  • Accession Number: 01530792
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 10 2014 10:05AM