A deep-ocean test miner has not only coupled relationship between component systems, but also various design requirements of each system to accomplish the specified multi-tasks. To meet the multiobjectives of the complex system, multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) is performed. Metamodels such as kriging model and response surface model are employed to reduce computational costs for MDO and to facilitate the automation and integration of component systems in a design framework. After verifying accuracies of metamodels, metamodel-based MDO for a deep-ocean test miner is formulated and performed. Finally, results and advantages of the proposed design methodology are discussed.


Recently, deep-ocean mining system has received growing recognition for development of plentiful marine mineral resources. It consists of mining vehicle system, transportation system, and mother station. The mining vehicle system can be a self-propelled crawler equipped with collector, crusher and pumping unit. It collects mineral resources, especially manganese nodules, while traveling on cohesive soil at a depth of about 5000 meters in the deep-sea. Transportation system conveys the manganese nodule collected from the mining vehicle system to a mother station through a flexible hose and buffer, i.e. intermediate raising unit. The mother station stores the collected mineral resources and controls each subsystem with utility equipments. In this paper, we mainly consider the design of a test miner composed of collector, crawler and chassis structure et al. There are a variety of objectives and design constraints related to a mining vehicle system. A collector is required to pick up manganese nodules efficiently regardless of size of manganese nodules. The crawler should travel reliably on soft soil of the deep-ocean consuming as small amounts of energy as possible. The frame structure supporting the vehicle system must be strong and stiff enough to maintain the shape in deep sea pressures of about 500 bars.

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