This report of the state of the art in ocean platforms discusses the types, their design and performance. Types are classified as buoys [floating], bottom mounted [supported] or semisubmersible, and ship-shaped configurations. Typical examples of each are described. The section on design describes speed, power, stability, structure, weight and materials aspects. The general arrangement and machinery features are not included because an adequate discussion of the many different types would require more data than are available for most of the platforms. This section concludes with a comment on environment. The section on performance concerns the operation of platforms and other topics that influence the design characteristics. These topics are about operation, maintenance, station keeping, moving, motions, cost and failure. Progress in ocean platform development is summarized.

Many designs have been advanced for ocean platforms. Some, like the Armstrong Seadrome patent for a landing field, are outdated, while others, such as a base for an Underseas habitat, represent future. applications. Platforms included in this report are existing structures or floating types having extensive design data available.


If the problems generated by the expanding programs for exploitation of the ocean environment are to be solved, they have to be recognized and documented. The problems of selecting a working platform arrangement and a suitable design criteria are basic to many objectives. While the rapidly developing technology such as for ocean platforms makes a state-of-the-art report historical rather than current, an annotated reference list and discussion of important design aspects should be helpful to many executives or engineers. Detailed discussion of particular types such as the offshore mobile units1 are already available. However, even these are somewhat limited in topics which are covered. The major objective Of this paper is to provide an Overall summary for ocean platform types, published data on design and a discussion of operational characteristics. A brief review of the more important references is included to indicate content and limitations.

The possible arrangements of ocean platforms are many. The shapes and sizes range from that of a small channel-navigation marker to a fixed oil or sulfur-production complex. Further uses of the smaller buoy platforms could be for oceanographic data collection, while among the other sizes are the San Marcos Island complex rocket-launch facility2 for radar installation [Texas Tower] 3 and range tracking. 4 For the purposes of this paper, these five kinds of platform designs will be grouped as follows.

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Descriptions of the arrangements of various kinds of platforms in this section will be grouped under the five kinds noted previously in the introduction.

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