Cable Ship


Also found in: Acronyms.

Cable Ship

 

a ship to lay submarine communications cables and power lines; also used to raise such cables from the bottom and to repair them. The first cable ship was the small English steam tugboat Goliath, which on Aug. 28, 1850, was used to lay the first submarine telegraph cable across the Strait of Dover. The largest cable ship of the 19th century was the English steamship Great Eastern, with a displacement of 32, 000 tons, designed by the English engineer I. Brunei. The Great Eastern was used in 1865-74 to lay the first series of transatlantic telegraph cables. During the 1960’s the world fleet of cable ships consisted of more than 30 vessels, among them the British ships Monarch (displacement, 12, 000 tons; built in 1946) and Alert (8, 000 tons; 1961), the French ship Marcel Bayard (7, 000 tons; 1961), the Soviet ships Ingul and Iana (each 6, 900 tons; 1963), and the American ship Long Lines (17, 000 tons; 1962).

The holds of a cable ship, which are cylindrical containers, are called tanks. As many as several thousand kilometers of submarine communications cable are coiled and placed in the tanks. During the cable-laying operation, electric signal repeaters are installed in the cable in special rooms on the deck of the ship, called hangars. The ends of each manufactured length of cable (10-50 km long) are carried onto the deck and are connected to the appropriate repeater. Thus, the assembled length can be either the total length of the main line or the part of the length that can be stored in the cable ship before the laying of the cable is begun. Electrically driven cable machines are used to lay the cable or to raise it for repairs; one such machine is located at the stern and two at the bow (port and starboard). A cable equipped with repeaters is laid from the stern; cables without repeaters are laid from the bow. Cables are also raised from the bow of the cable ship. A cable winch develops a force up to several hundred kilonewtons (tens of tons-force); it has tensioning equipment incorporating pulleys 2-3 m in diameter or of the caterpillar type. The latter type is preferred for laying a cable equipped with repeaters in rigid cylindrical housings. A cantilever (outrigger) protrudes from the bow of the ship; it is equipped with pulleys for the cable being laid and for the carrying cable used in raising. Cable-laying at depths of 5, 000-6, 000 m is conducted at speeds up to 8 knots (15 km/hr); when repeaters are passing through a cable machine the speed of laying is reduced to 1-2 knots. Cable ships are equipped with apparatus that provides continuous control of the characteristics of the cable being laid or repaired and of the condition of the repeaters. Cable ships are also equipped with apparatus for maintaining ship-to-shore communications through the cable being laid; equipment used in searching for the cable or in raising the cable, including grappling devices (grapnels); buoys for temporary marking of a damaged cable section; floats used in carrying a cable to the shore; and equipment for splicing cable ends.

Ordinary freighters and tugboats are used to lay cables in rivers, lakes, canals, coastal waters, and harbors. Such ships are temporarily equipped with winches used in laying or raising the cable and with large-diameter pulleys, which are located at the stern (for laying cable) or at the bow (for raising cable).

REFERENCE

Podvodnye kabel’nye magistrali sviazi. Edited by I. S. Ravich and D. L.Shade. Moscow, 1971.

D. L. SHARLE

References in periodicals archive ?
Omar Bin Kalban, Managing Director and CEO of E-Marine, said: "Our flagship cable ship Niwa is now well underway in the deployment of the Teams cable and has departed the coast of the UAE for Mombasa earlier this month.
E-marine owns three Cable Ships and One Barge which are equipped with state of the art equipments.
The sounds were overwhelming when the shells smashed into the cable ship. The barrage balloon above her came crashing down on her decks; the whine of the shells overpowered by the piercing shrill of Monarch's steam whistle.
It was recovered from the debris by ROBERT EDWARDS, quartermaster of a cable ship sent to rescue survivors.
An initial requirement was designing a seafloor system that could be installed using a conventional oceanographic ship, rather than a specialized cable ship.
Teleglobe said it believed the cable had been cut due to a trawler accident but could not be sure until a cable ship reached the cut - somewhere between Iceland and the Faeroe Islands - on Monday.
Already, in July 1920, the Britishdirected cable ship Colonia attempting to lay a cable from Pernambuco via Barbados to Miami was threatened with armed ejection by the US Navy if it came within three miles of the Miami beach.
Over the coming months, the cable ship, Responder, will continue to install the GBI cable system, which is configured as a 'self-healing ring' within the Gulf.
Cunard later sold Scotia and she became a cable ship after being converted to twin screws - she worked for the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company.
"The cable ship Niwa is now a very well-qualified vessel for operating in closer proximity to oil and gas platforms, ensuring maximum safety and highest service levels for the oil and gas industry.
Like so many other bodies, his was picked up by the cable ship Mackay-Bennett.