CURV III- Cabled Underwater Recovery Vehicle
The Cable-controlled Undersea Recovery Vehicle (CURV) was developed in the early 1960`s by the former Pasadena Annex of the Naval Ordnance Test Station, one of SSC San Diego`s parent laboratories. CURV was designed to recover test ordnance lost off San Clemente Island at depths as great as 2,000 feet, but became famous in 1966 with the recovery of an H-bomb off Spain in 2,800 feet of water. This success spawned later generations of vehicles designated CURV II, CURV II-B, CURV II-C and CURV III. CURV, now referred to as CURV I, pioneered the concept of undersea eleoperators.
The CURV family of vehicles was born at what is now the Navy Research and Development (NRaD) labs. The original CURV III vehicle was rated to 10,000 feet (a significant depth at the time of it`s design), and in 1973 was used to rescue the two-man crew of the submersible Pisces III which was bottomed off Ireland. The modernized CURV III was commissioned by the Navy Supervisor of Salvage (SUPSALV) just after the Challenger Space Shuttle explosion. During the recovery of Shuttle components, it was found that the Navy`s existing fleet of ROVs could not cope with the high currents found in the Gulf Stream off Florida. Embarrassed by this limitation, SUPSALV contracted Eastport International to design and build a new CURV III based on emerging deep-water ROV technologies. This system`s key requirement was to be able to operate in 95% of the world`s oceans.
Navy`s Supervisor of Salvage (SUPSAL), directed that it be upgraded from 10,000 feet operations to 20,000 feet using technology developed for the Remote Unmanned Work system (RUWS) and the Advanced Tethered Vehicle (ATV). The redesign and upgrade, performed by Eastport International, produced what is essentially a new CURV III. CURV III continues to be operated by SUPSAL, as does the SSC San Diego-developed.
General specifications, CURV III:
Owned: US NAVY, SUPSALV
Built: 1989 by Eastport International Inc.
Depth rating (feet): 20,000
Deepest dive (feet): 20,501
Weight (lbs.): 13,000
Power: 80hp Electric/Hydraulic System
Telemetry: Fiber Optic. 60 Mbps + 4 Video
Electric: 3 Phase 2800V
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