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Ocean bottom cable handling system and method of using same

Image Number 7 for United States Patent #5655753.

A marine seismic cable deployment and retrieval system for utilization in conjunction with a marine vessel. The present, searched for invention teaches a large wheel mounted in the front of the vessel for retrieving seismic cable from the water, and a horizontally mounted cable handler comprising an eight wheel cable puller for pulling the cable, the cable puller comprising four pairs of tires in frictional, rotational contact with one another along their outer surfaces configured to frictionally grab and pull a seismic cable along a linear path. A smaller rear cable puller further urges the cable to the rear of the vessel, and down into the main deck via a chute arrangement. The cable pullers of the present invention contemplate the utilization of relatively oversized, under-inflated tires to allow for a softer, increased frictional contact with the cable, while allowing for the tires to "give" with the passage of cable connectors therethrough, which typically have a greater diameter than the cable, allowing for full, real-time cable retrieval. The present system further contemplates a trolley assembly/floating cable puller system for deploying the cable into the main deck for installation, as well as deploying the cable to sea, which trolley system includes a floating cable wheel puller arrangement having movement on both the longitudinal and transverse axes of the vessel, allowing flexible placement of the cable in the main deck area.

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