This paper presents performance metrics that can be used to evaluate the response sensitivity of a tension leg platform (TLP) to its tendons. An uncoupled TLP model ignores the intrinsic dynamics and environmental loads on the cables by treating each tendon as an ideal massless spring. A coupled TLP system, in contrast, considers the effects of distributed mass and drag along the tendon. Under certain operating conditions, an uncoupled dynamics model can produce results comparable to its coupled counterpart. This paper defines the conditions under which it is acceptable to model a TLP tendon as a linear spring, as opposed to one that considers the cable dynamics. The analysis is performed in the frequency domain and, for generality, the results are nondimensionalized. The findings indicate that a more elaborate set of conditions than the platform–to–cable mass ratio must be satisfied for the two models to provide similar results. To conclude this study, two simulations are performed and compared against the performance metrics derived in this paper.

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