Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Maersk-backed TheOceanCleanup Puts Its System to Final Tests

Following up on September 10's "Maersk-backed TheOceanCleanup Have Launched their Contraption to Clear the 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch'".

The reason both of our headlines mention Maersk is not because we think multi-billion dollar corporations need a free plug but because the ship they contributed to the effort is such an impressive piece of equipment. It can do anything that TheOceanCleanup needs it to do.

Maersk Launcher (Photo: Maersk Supply Service) 
From World Maritime News:
Following the launch from the San Francisco Bay on September 8, the Ocean Cleanup’s System 001 traveled 350 nautical miles to commence the Pacific Trials. 

The trials will last approximately two weeks and are a crucial step before the System 001 heads for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to clean the ocean plastic.

The system consists of a 600-meter-long U-shaped floating barrier with a three-meter skirt attached below. It is designed to be propelled by wind and waves, allowing it to passively catch and concentrate plastic debris in front of it.
“There are many tasks that must be accomplished during the Pacific Trials, but we have identified five main goals for the coming two weeks. Confirming these objectives will provide us with the understanding if the system is up for the challenge it’s set to face in the patch. Should we encounter any issues, it is much easier to tow the system back to shore from here than it would be all the way from the patch,” the Ocean Cleanup said in an update.

“We want to ensure the system can withstand the conditions of the ocean before we tow it all the way to the patch. We will perform checks at the end of the trials for damage. If we observe severe damage, we will then assess if this can be remedied on or offshore.”
The checklist
The first step is U-shape installation, which has been completed successfully. It is the first time the system is in its intended shape, which is needed to conduct many tests.
This required connecting the closing lines, which help the system maintain its shape and prevent the system from flipping inside out.

It took approximately two days to arrange the system in its operational configuration. With the aid of the Maersk Launcher and the Megamaid, the closing lines were connected from the inside of System 001....MORE
The two most recent posts at TheOceanCleanup's Updates site:

Research 25 September 2018
Remote Sensing of Ocean Plastics

General, Testing 19 September 2018
Pacific Trials - The Gateway to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch