A Thermal Solution For a Deep Sea Challenge
January 15, 2019
A leader in self-actuating, thermostatic valve technology, ThermOmegaTech®’s products have demonstrated their effectiveness in diverse situations, where temperature control, size, reliability, and repeatability are crucial. Offered in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, our experienced team of multi-disciplinary engineers can devise a unique and practical solution to satisfy any A&D application’s needs.
A deep sea exploration company contacted us with a need for an instrumentation pod buoy release mechanism. The instrumentation pods were designed to sink to the ocean floor and locate oil and gas reserves underneath the sea bed using sensory technology. Typically, the company would attach a buoy to the instrumentation pod by a cable so they could track and retrieve the pod once testing was completed.
However, there were several problems with a visible buoy indicating the location of the pod: competitors could see where they were searching, passing ships could take the buoys, and in some cases security risks could be exposed.
To neutralize these complications, the customer requested a special actuator that could be remotely activated to quickly release a buoy from the underwater pod and allow it to float to the surface. This would keep the buoy from being visible until they were ready to collect the pod. Some of the challenges of this application included a high load and piston stroke requirements to release the spring mechanism, actuator response time, and mass restrictions.
ThermOmegaTech®‘s engineers designed a custom actuator to be installed within the instrumentation pod. A custom paraffin wax blend actuator allowed for a large stroke and quick response time. A printed foil heater on Kapton substrate was wrapped around the actuator to activate it. Once the ultrasonic signal from the ship was received by the pod, the heater was energized by the battery circuit. The foil heater heated the thermal actuator, causing the piston to extend and release the latch so the buoy could float to the surface for easy retrieval.
After successfully testing prototypes, the customer implemented hundreds of the buoy release actuators into their deep sea exploration efforts. Contact us today to find a solution for your A&D challenge!