The mooring system is one of the most critical and novel aspects of the Hutton tension leg platform (TLP) design. The tension lines of the TLP mooring system are subjected to severe fatigue loading conditions making the continuous assessment of their integrity an essential part of the production operation. To ensure that the mooring system is performing as designed and—more importantly—that no critical damage has been sustained, an in-situ nondestructive examination (NDE) system is being developed. The inspection system requirements to not only detect but also size possible defects in the mooring system’s heavy-walled components necessitates sophisticated ultrasonic transducers be developed. In addition, a variety of micro, mini, and supermini-computers are required to process the large amount of data required to accurately size defects in the body of the components and in the threaded connections. This paper outlines the inspection requirements for the tension legs. The various concepts considered for the in-situ inspection are also discussed. Additionally presented is the ultrasonic inspection concept being developed for this inspection system.

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