A Tender Assisted Drilling (TAD) is typically a support vessel that serves support of a drilling rig. The TAD acts as a platform for supplies and is stationed alongside the drilling rig from which the rig will work off to reduce the loads on the actual rig. While operating, the TAD needs to be structurally coupled with the floating production platform. The coupling makes sure that the Tender does not drift away from the platform and provides stiffness to the relative motions between the TAD and the production platform. Current practice is to couple the TAD and the platform by using nylon hawser ropes. The hawsers provide adequate elasticity to accommodate the low frequency motions and do not allow the TAD to drift away from the production platform. In this study the individual free floating TAD and Tension Leg Platform (TLP) system is model first using the commercial software Hydrostar. After that the technique of developing equivalent stiffness matrix to represent the TLP tendons are applied in order to simulate the influence of the tendons on TLP motions. The response of these individual models are then calculated numerically and validated against existing data. After validation is performed, coupled interactions of this two body is simulated while both the bodies are freely floating side by side. Several possible side by side orientations of the TAD and TLP are tested and the results are compared for this first phase of the study. Later, the freely floating bodies are connected to each other by means of springs. The connection between the two floating bodies is modeled using equivalent stiffness matrix for connections.
The results obtained from this first phase frequency domain analysis will help to clearly understand the coupled behavior of such system under various orientations. In later phases, this model will be further developed in order to perform the time domain analysis and several innovative types of connections other than simple hawsers will be tested in order to couple this TAD and TLP system.