Oceanographic moorings can have dozens or even hundreds of parts

How do you quickly design moorings affected by wind and waves and keep track of all the parts?

Starting a new mooring design project can be exciting

But that excitement of starting something new can quickly be replaced with stress. This stress can come from the need to keep track of all the components and parts details to pull the mooring design together. These mooring designs can have dozens or even hundreds of parts.

But old parts may be out of production

New parts are created all the time. The regular parts you’re used to may not be in stock this week. Keeping track of all this information is a job in and of itself. But one way or another, the first step in a mooring design is laying out all the parts needed.

Laying out all the parts in a mooring design can take a lot of time

Shackles, wire, synthetic rope, flotation: there are many different kinds of parts you need to put your mooring together. There are a lot of details needed in laying out the connectors properly from the anchor to the top float. A simple spreadsheet can help a lot in this stage of the design. But then things get more complicated when you account for all the instruments. Most instruments need to sit at a target water depth. Adjusting the mooring so each instrument sits where it is supposed to can take a lot of time in iterating the design. But this iteration won’t be accurate unless you get the details of all the parts correct.

Getting these details right needs a lot of careful attention

Basic bookkeeping like adding up the total mooring length has to be bulletproof. The total weight is important as that relates to how much flotation you need. If the flotation is off, then instruments won’t sit in the right location in the water. All these parts combined into a mooring layout can be an awful lot of information.

So how can you do all this design quickly?

A standard design process uses the right tools to help this process. What’s needed is a software tool that tracks information from commercial specification sheets in a parts library. This software tool makes it easy to click together a concept mooring design in an assembly. You can quickly see the results of key parameters like total mooring length and weight, and even an estimate of the anchor load. A bill of materials export will let you compare what you have in stock or what’s available from your local supplier. A layout sheet makes it easy to connect the mooring in prep for deployment while out on the water.

These kinds of quick checks let you make quick adjustments in the early design stage. With the information in one place, the design process becomes faster and easier. With a fast and easy-to-use tool, there’s a better chance you can incorporate it into a standard design process. A standard design process with accurate calculations and inputs reduce mooring failures.

Introducing ProteusDS Oceanographic

ProteusDS Oceanographic are software tools that helps with oceanographic mooring design. These tools help the mooring design process move faster and easier. They also help you design moorings in a consistent way as part of a standard design process.

How can ProteusDS Oceanographic help you?

Fully supported software Internal tools like spreadsheets and scripts can be useful, but sometimes need tweaks or fixes. This takes time that you need to spend on other things like designing and assessing your mooring. We continually update ProteusDS Oceanographic, adding new features and fixes based on experience and user feedback.

Easily create mooring layouts Assembling a complex mooring layout can take a lot of time. The ProteusDS Oceanographic Designer provides an easy to use interface to click together components to form the mooring.

Use trusted software ProteusDS Oceanographic is used by many organizations like WHOI, Scripps, NOAA, DFO, and AIMS for oceanographic mooring design.

Rapidly duplicate parts Mooring layouts often have many connecting hardware groups. ProteusDS Oceanographic Designer lets you group connectors. Groups can be rapidly duplicated. This significantly speeds up assembly and adjustment of mooring layouts.

Expansive parts library Scouring the Internet and following up with suppliers to find the information for mooring components and instruments can take a lot of time. The ProteusDS Oceanographic Official Parts Library provides you with a vast collection of existing parts to work from. We regularly work with suppliers to continue adding more information all the time.

Quickly add your own components It’s common to have your own custom or even proprietary parts. The ProteusDS Oceanographic parts library is built to work with basic parameters like weight and geometry. It’s easy to add parts to your own separate library file to be included in your specific mooring design project.

Rapidly calculate static tension Working with spreadsheets can be cumbersome. A big source of error is making sure you have the right wet weight or flotation for each component. In ProteusDS Oceanographic Designer, the information from the parts library is directly used. This is tallied up to assess the total dry weight and estimated static tension – absent any current and other environmental loads – in the mooring.

Free functionality A free version of ProteusDS Oceanographic is available for use immediately

Evaluate the effects of wind, waves, and currents  Evaluating loads and mooring deflection in wind, waves, and currents is a complex process. The paid ProteusDS Oceanographic version provides access to more software tools to prepare and process these environmental effects on the mooring.

Annual subscription for advanced dynamic analysis Some advanced software tools have a large up-front cost, and then charge annual maintenance fees on top of that. ProteusDS Oceanographic paid license fees for advanced analysis are on an annual basis and are all-inclusive. You can get up and running without significant capital costs.

Picture credit: CSIRO / IMOS / Marine National Facility

Go far. Go together.

DSA is an open and collaborative organization. There are government, university, and industrial research organizations all over the world that we work with. We actively research new techniques to use in our hydrodynamic models. Through these collaborations, we all learn together how to solve new problems.

The free features of ProteusDS Oceanographic include:

  • ProteusDS Oceanographic Designer
  • ProteusDS Oceanographic Parts Library Editor
  • Parts Library pre-populated with components from commercial suppliers
  • Access to Parts Libary updates
  • Access to software updates

It is a great tool that significantly facilitated the process of the mooring design and components selection.

Carlos Sousa, Research Assistant
CCMAR, Portugal

I definitely like the designer environment, and the ability to build a mooring and make changes to the configuration, with the program doing all the location bookkeeping. The wealth of components currently in the material library is great.

Don Peters, Principal Engineer
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, MA, USA

“We were long time users of WHOI Cable and felt comfortable with it…”

We were long time users of WHOI Cable and felt comfortable with it after a thorough validation of our modeling approach and element property considerations. We dealt with some of the limitations of WHOI Cable by creating support routines that allowed a combination of partial results. However, some features, such as the dynamic analysis, were always time-consuming because the software is extremely sensitive to the model setup and fine-tuning was a trial and error exercise on input parameters.
We transitioned into ProteusDS when some of our mooring optimization analyses were getting just too lengthy.
ProteusDS is a much more modern tool with very convenient built-in options that provide analysis flexibility. The possibility of combining results from different analysis cases to shorten the overall execution time has proven very valuable.
In addition, we have been able to perform the design of some appurtenances that would not have been possible with WHOI Cable. We still need to develop some support routines to access and process the results provided by ProteusDS for some specialized analysis, but the process got a lot easier because of the always timely assistance of the ProteusDS support team from DSA Ocean.
Rafael Ramos, Senior Oceanographer
Woods Hole Group, TX, USA

“ProteusDS provides our team certainty and confidence…”

ProteusDS provides our team certainty and confidence in the modeling and design of our many ocean-going moorings located from the Bay of Fundy to Barrow Strait in the Arctic.

The success of our field team at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography is attributed to the many private sector ocean technology vendors we rely on from Canada and around the world, including ProteusDS, to provide us the equipment we need to succeed.

Kristian Curran, Head of Ocean Engineering and Technology Section
DFO Bedford Institute of Oceanography, NS, Canada

ProteusDS Oceanographic overview

ProteusDS Oceanographic is the best place to start oceanographic mooring design

Download ProteusDS Oceanographic using the button below. After installation, you will be prompted the first time you run the software to register with DSA. Registration helps us keep you informed regarding changes to the software or updates to our Official Parts Libraries.

ProteusDS Oceanographic Features



Extensive parts library
Integrated parts library editor
Basic static weight and buoyancy check
Bill of Materials (BOM) export
Mooring layout order export
Static mooring loads and deflection in steady ocean current
Dynamic mooring load and deflection in wind, waves, and currents
Batch and parallel processing of wind, waves, and current effects on mooring
3D visualization of mooring response in wind, waves, and currents
Automated post-processing and report generation of static and dynamic wind, waves, and current mooring results
*Requires a paid license of ProteusDS. Contact support@dsaocean.com for additional information.