Surveys complete, work packages defined, debris pushed out of the way, mines/unexploded munitions cleared and facilities repaired, the next step (although it might not be sequential) us to make the port able to receive ship traffic.
This might entail a myriad of tasks or very few so the requirements and capabilities in those post might not even be needed at all, they are therefore, like the others, only deployed when specifically needed.
Daytime operations are a given but if ships are to use the facility in the hours of darkness, lighting will be required in any area that is being used.
The port will more likely have these facilities in place so may well have been addressed in the repair task. If those repairs need spare parts that are not available a quick portable solution will be needed.
Modern ports and harbours now have computer controlled lighting systems that are designed to minimise electricity use by coordinating crane and ship movements with the hour of day and season, security sensors and access control. The control circuits are often wireless and able to be reprogrammed remotely, all very clever stuff.
In line with the ‘just enough and no more’ philosophy of CONCEPT 1 any deployed solution should provide lighting for the working locations in support of the operation and very quick to set up, consequently, the level of sophistication must be kept to a level that is supportable with the intended timescales and deployment resource.
With recent legal judgements any port area that is used for UK personnel will likely need to comply with relevant Health and safety legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Dock Regulations 1988 and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. This might not be as onerous as imagined because any equipment on the market will be in compliance with current regulation and BS 12464-2007.
Light pollution when operating at night may well impact key ships crew and pilots night vision, it is not sufficient to simply flood an area with light (see what I did there!)
For most applications, where accurate colour rendering is not needed Metal Halide or High Pressure Sodium are normally used although LED technology is now making headway in the market.
Lighting level requirements vary between 5 and 50 lux depending on area, working or storage for example need differing levels.
To achieve these levels the only practical solution is a portable type, lighting towers and mobile generators but the demanding operating environment of a port needs careful equipment selection.
Power consumption is an important factor for a deployable solution because every lux will need powering from self contained generators, each needing fuel that must be landed or taken from existing finite supplies. Although low energy lighting has a higher capital cost the running cost and operational advantages would point to a low energy solution such as available from Holophane, CU Phosco and Prismalence. As an example, a 70w Prismalence Ceramic Discharge Metal Halide unit outputs the same light as a 1000w Halogen unit.
Portable lighting towers are available through the C Vehicle PFI with ALC but they are mostly designed for site use and may not be high enough although the C Vehicle PFI would be an ideal commercial provision solution.
Combining a low energy lighting solution like the Prismalence Stella with a self contained semi mobile lighting tower such as the 11m Maxi Tower or 15m TI15 from Towerlight would provide good coverage at low energy use. Deploying them around the port area should be a simple task for any of the wheeled loaders and wheeled tractors discussed in the previous post.
If the common 11-15m solutions do not elevate the lights to sufficient height to clear container stacks and other obstructions without needing many units a greater height might be needed, this means moving away from conventional solutions and to those that use elevating lattice towers like those currently in use in Afghanistan for the Base-ISTAR observation towers from Floatograph and Will Burt.
A quick check using a light meter will confirm the correct levels, obviously, some leeway and an application of common sense is needed.
Floodlighting for work and storage areas will need to be deployed in addition to harbour navigation lamps.
Hydrosphere are the main supplier to the MoD for harbour lights, buoys and other aids to navigation and the buoy maintenance contract is held by Briggs Marine subcontracted to Serco Marine via the Future Provision of Marine Services PFI. Briggs Marine are responsible for some 220 aids to navigation and 110 moorings in the UK, Cyprus and Gibraltar and together with the Serco diver support team and associated services provide an effective capability for the MoD.
As part of the wider PFI Damen supplied 29 new vessels to Serco;
- 2 x Damen Pushy Cat 1204
- 1 x Damen Stan Tug 1405
- 3 x Damen Stan Tender 1505
- 3 x Damen Stan Tender 1905
- 4 x Damen ASD Tug 2009
- 3 x Damen Stan Tug 2608
- 2 x Damen ASD Tug 2509
- 4 x Damen ATD Tug 2909
- 2 x Damen Multi Cat 2510
- 1 x Damen Water Lighter Barge 3009
- 1 x Damen Diesel Lighter Barge 2909
- 1 x Damen Liquid Mixed Lighter Barge 4315
- 1 x Worldwide Support Ship 8316
Included in the new fleet was a pair of Multi Cat 2510′s equipped for buoy/mooring handling and trials support. The SD Navigator is the name of the mooring and buoy handing Multi Cat 2510, and is an ideal workboat for CONCEPT 1 equipped for buoy and mooring maintenance with winches and a 9 tonne at 7m outreach crane.
Image courtesy Flickr user Blue Angel 66
The Damen Multi Cat has the following dimensions; length; 25.54m, beam; 10.64m and docked height of 5.65m which makes it shorter than an LCU Mk10 but wider and therefore unable to fit inside the Bay class LSD(A) dock, unfortunately.
This results in either a requirement for self deployment or being carried into theatre, the deck crane on a Bay class is only rated at approximately 30 tonnes, far too low to lift a large workboat like the 2510 off the deck with its deadweight of 80 tonnes.
This either means a new and smaller workboat, like the Damen Multi Cat 1908, specifically for CONCEPT 1 or a modular system like the Meercat Workboat or Damen Modular Pontoon system detailed in the previous post that can be carried on the deck or in the hold of a Bay Class LSD(A) and assembled in theatre.
An upgrade to the crane on the Bay class is also an option worth considering if structurally and economically feasible. Although in CONCEPT 1 I am rather loathe to suggest significant upgrades or costs an improvement of the lift and reach capacity of the Bay class LSD(A) would provide a number of all round benefits beyond ship to shore logistics.
The buoys themselves are simple off the shelf devices available from a number of suppliers such as Floatex and Hydrosphere, as mentioned above.
Signal lights are used to mark entry lanes and as warning beacons, these, again, are commodity items available from many manufacturers including Carmanah, Floatex and Hydrosphere. Most of these require mains electricity and although some are now offered as self contained units with solar power it might be a modest development project worth undertaking to provide a small quantity of self contained units that can be quickly clamped or mounted near existing lights that are damaged.
So for buoy and mooring handling, repositioning and general repairs in support of port operations it may be possible and perhaps worth investigating whether these commercial arrangements could be extended to include the provision of the same services on an expeditionary basis. If not, workboats, cranes and a stock of equipment will allow the CONCEPT 1 capability to rapidly augment or repair a target ports aids to navigation in support of safe operations.
Security and Communications
In the introduction to CONCEPT1 the underlying assumption is that combat operations will have either ceased or never started in the first place. There may still, however, be a need for enhanced security.
Physical security could be supplied by local or embarked personnel augmented with a range of rapidly installed force protection measures. If there are many ISO containers available, and as we have seen from previous posts, they may well be, they can be positioned as temporary physical security barriers. In many regards, they are ideal for this purpose because they would be very quick and easy to install with the appropriate wheeled loaders and lifting equipment integral to CONCEPT1.
If it is not possible to use existing ISO containers as a security barrier, to augment them or simply to enhance and extend then the good offices of Mr HESCO might need to be called.
The familiar HESCO Bastion system of filled gabbions can be used to create security barriers, sangars and shelters of varying styles and sizes.
Finding aggregate and other fill material might be problematical but it is likely that rubble and other materials can be used, highlighted in the previous post on debris removal and rubble processing.
Sangars and shelters can also be quickly constructed
They can also be used as vehicle check point barriers and blast containment.
All round versatility!
If I am mentioning HESCO I must also mention Defencell, an alternative product with some key differences.
In the lighting section there were a number of solutions for elevating lights, those same solutions could also be used for elevating security cameras, other sensors and communications equipment, all networked into a containerised control room.
The larger lattice masts from organisations like Will Burt in the USA provide systems solutions going up to 45m. A fewer number of higher towers might provide a more space and fuel efficient lighting solution and the lattice towers can also, by virtue of their large payloads, provide a mounting platform for communications and security systems.
These additional systems could range from the sophisticated Base-ISTAR solution to simple day/night CCTV, military communications or a simple VHF system and even a port radar/beacon could be incorporated into some of the towers.
Although these look massive systems a small number could easily cover the area envisaged by CONCEPT 1 and provide additional security and communications capabilities.
Integrate lighting and security and communication payloads onto a small number of high elevation lattice towers and you have a space efficient capability that contributes to both port operations and ports security.
Mooring fixtures include fenders, bollards, ship arrestors, berthing/breasting and mooring dolphins.
Because of the large forces they have to withstand dolphins and bollards have a necessarily substantial construction, reinforced concrete and large diameter steel piling being the norm.
This is both an advantage and disadvantage, it is not so good because they take time to install, therefore deployable solutions are rather thin on the ground. On the other hand, their heavy construction does make them very resistant to damage, even deliberate explosive demolition would require some time.
For dolphins and bollards the most likely requirement will be repair rather than construction, using quick setting epoxy cements, cutting equipment and common construction techniques any damage should be simple to repair as long as the underlying structure remains sound.
One of the main objectives for CONCEPT1 is to enable the Point strategic RORO ships to offload, either via existing facilities, a RORO linkpsan or rapidly constructed ramp. Although they would need to be installed quickly, any mooring bollards required would be low in number, no more than 4 or 5 and possibly as few as 2, especially if med (or stern) mooring where the ship is effectively reversed onto the offload ramp (any nautical purists, please accept my apologies for this terminology!)
For these small number of newly installed onto the existing quayside mooring bollards, if the underlying foundations are concrete it would be easy and quick to drill and set new ones. A problem exists where the RORO ramp, for example, is in an area where no bollards exist AND no concrete. It may be possible to use screw piling, depending on soli conditions, to quickly install screw anchors that could in turn be capped with a simple mooring bollard. I will look at different types of foundation in CONCEPT2 but for now, a quick video on helical screw piling should suffice.
They are simply giant screws that get hydraulically driven into the ground and have a very high pull out resistance although because the majority of resistance needed is to lateral rather than vertical loads they could be combined in the same manner as a holdfast anchor familiar to Sappers and recovery mechanics the world over. A small stock and excavator attachment is all that is needed to create solid bollard foundations in support of large ship mooring. Most of the UK’s Victorian piers are built on cast iron screw piles, the technology is well established.
Fenders are used to protect both ships and port infrastructure and are likely to be in abundance at any port but a small quantity would be a useful contingent against damage or pilferage. The many permanently installed systems available would not be within this concept, simple and quick inflatable or foam fenders being of most value, like those available from Fendercare for example.
When I talk about dredging in CONCEPT1 it is about maintenance dredging, not cutting new channels into rock or sand, the assumption being that the port has been neglected, for whatever reason, and the lack of regular dredging has allowed established channels, basins and quayside areas to silt up.
The long reach excavators highlighted in the previous post are excellent at working from a modular pontoon or workboat and quickly removing debris and silt
Where time is a factor however, there are much quicker solutions available and for CONCEPT1, time is always a factor.
Fitting a suction cutter head, pump and discharge hose to the modular pontoon or workboats described in this and earlier posts is one option but that would mean the boat or pontoon in question cannot be used for other activities.
Dedicated units are available that, like the Meercat workboat and modular pontoon solutions, are sized roughly along ISO container lines for road transportation. A couple of examples are IMS, Beaver Dredges, Ellicot Dredge and Damen Dredging.
The road transportable solutions can dredge on average to a depth of 9m, more than enough for the needs of CONCEPT1. They can use winch propulsion or a spud carriage in the video blow.
The Versi Dredge from IMS has a unique star wheel propulsion system
Containerised booster pumps are used to move the spoil further than the integral pumps.
Other Posts in the Series