Today’s deep draft, large cargo vessels, which are configured for carrying and utilizing ISO standard cargo containers and the like, cannot approach the beach. They must use modern port facilities with special cargo handling equipment (e.g., cranes, etc.) or must be off-loaded outside the surf zone and their containers transferred to the beach via smaller craft. The latter method is highly inefficient because it requires delicate alignment of the containers while transferring containers between dynamic, floating platforms with the transfer crane introducing additional motion. Also, the smaller craft must return from the beach empty to pick up another load, greatly reducing their productivity. In order to achieve even the current rate of delivery, the large container ship must be anchored as close to shore as water conditions permit.
The Sea Truck system fulfills the world’s need for low cost, logistics over the shore equipment possessing critical independent distribution flexibility and huge surge capabilities. The Sea Truck system can enable logistical priorities to be dynamically altered while en route, according to each individual Sea Truck cargo mix, changing tactical situations, cargo criticality and mission needs. The inherent flexibility of the Sea Truck system allows extremely flexible port and supply point reassignments for each individual Sea Truck.
The Sea Truck
The Sea Truck system consists of a propulsion module, composed of 90+% COTS components, and a bow module which attach directly to commercial cargo containers, allowing the deployment of these self-propelled, autonomously controlled, cargo units from offshore military ships and/or commercial ships to forces ashore during sustainment operations.
The propulsion module contains a power source (e.g. diesel engine, electric motor, hybrid technology) and the electronic components needed to autonomously navigate to the desired location. The power produced is converted to thrust via a propeller, azipods, or similar coupling technology. 90+% of all components in the propulsion module are Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS), contributing to the low cost of the Sea Truck system. These components allow for worldwide compatibility and an open-system architecture design. The entire propulsion module is contained within a 10 ft. space claim with an ISO fitting at each corner. The 10 ft space claim allows for two propulsion units to be fitted together to form an ad-hoc 20 ft equivalent unit which is more easily handled and stored via commercial equipment.
The pneumatic bow module is contained within a 2 ft wide ISO compatible space claim. It consists of a metal bottom piece which aids in sea keeping and a pneumatic bag. The pneumatic bag is manually deployed prior to setting the Sea Truck into the water via an onboard air compressor or air tank. The bottom metal piece is pushed down as the pneumatic bag expands. Once in place, the Sea Truck system is ready to be deployed.