Simplified analysis of multi-segment and sinker catenary systems
This paper describes a new method and a set of simplified equations for calculating the force-deflection characteristics of a catenary system comprised of several segments. Traditional catenary equations reference deflection to the catenary generation point, which is not stationary, making it difficult to perform a system force-deflection analysis. The new simplified catenary equations reference the catenary top deflection to its undeflected position. Thus they directly relate applied force to catenary top deflection. The paper first presents the simplified catenary equations for a catenary tangent to the ground plane and a catenary applying uplift to an anchor. Detailed derivations of these equations are presented in earlier papers. This paper then describes how to apply these simplified catenary equations to a system comprised of a series of catenary segments and derives the necessary equations. The catenary segments can have different unit weights. Point weights or buoys can be applied at the segment intersections. This paper will be of interest to designers of catenary mooring systems, suspension bridges, and other catenary structures and systems.