A truss spar, named as Horn Mountain, was deployed in the Gulf of Mexico in 1,650 m of water, approximately 150 km southeast of New Orleans in June 2002. Horn Mountain is operated by British Petroleum (B.P.). Extensive field measurements were made using an integrated marine monitoring system attached to the truss spar. In this study, dynamic analysis of the truss spar interacting with its mooring and riser system was performed using a time-domain numerical code, known as ‘COUPLE’. The simulated results were then compared with the corresponding field measurements made during Hurricane Isidore.
During the numerical study, various hydrodynamic parameters which were crucial to the accuracy of predicting the global motions of the truss spar and tensions in mooring lines and risers were scrutinized, such as the drag and added-mass coefficients of heave plates, hard tank and truss beams. Satisfactory agreement between the simulation and corresponding measurements was reached, indicating that the numerical code, COUPLE, can be used to conduct the time-domain analysis of a truss spar interacting with its mooring and riser system under severe storm impact.
A comparative study was also conducted to analyze the significance of interaction of risers with the hull structure. Three different cases of coupled analysis are simulated, namely (i) coupled analysis of truss spar interacting with mooring lines, (ii) coupled analysis of truss spar interacting with the mooring lines and the steel catenary risers, (iii) coupled analysis of truss spar interacting with the mooring lines, the steel catenary risers and top tension risers. Major statistical parameters of the global motions of the truss spar and the mooring line tensions for the three cases are compared with the field measurements.