Successful installation of offshore piles is often challenged by the constraints of cost, technical feasibility, availability of suitable installation vessels and the environment. A practical installation procedure is defined as one that utilizes the capacity of available equipment to operate in a wide allowable environmental window. To find such procedures there is a continuing need for research, use of new technologies, and the adoption of new ideas. This paper presents a feasibility study for side launching piles from a conventional cargo barge. Sophisticated nonlinear time domain dynamic simulations formed the basis of the evaluation. Two noted software packages with nonlinear time domain dynamic finite element analysis capabilities were used to predict the trajectory of the launched pile and the resulting impulsive load on the restraining cable/wire. Analytical results from the software programs were compared to provide a first level of validation. The numerical results were in good agreement. Cable/wire properties (size, length, and material) and tug vessel velocity were varied in an effort to minimize the cable loads during the highly dynamic launch event. The study concluded that side launch was feasible and design recommendations are provided.

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