Elevator payload limits


The Platform Elevator provides a large cargo area for transporting experiments to the seafloor. The floatation can be adjusted for payload. However, the large surface area can also be affected by strong currents.

Platform elevator

Platform elevator

Payload Limits

  • Total in-air weight limit is 2500 pounds.

Important: This is the limit established for the lifting bale.  Exceeding this is a safety issue which may endanger the deck personnel.

  • Payload limits: 1200 pounds in air; 250 pounds in water.
  • Flotation: Up to 16 cu ft of syntactic foam.

Anchor required with 16 cu ft of syntactic foam: 375 pounds in air (steel), 326.25 pounds in water

Elevator Dimensions

  • The cargo basket inside dimensions: Width: 5 feet, 9 inches
  • Side one: 3 feet
  • Side two: 4 feet
  • Depth: 15 inches
  • Elevator outside dimensions: Height: 10 feet
  • Width: 6 feet, 5 inches
  • Length: 7 feet, 10 inches
  • Bare elevator tare weight (without floatation): -300 pounds in air, -170 pounds in water

Note: This includes the weight of the frame, beacons and hardware. This weight will vary when components such as rigging and additional hardware are added.


With 16 cu ft of syntactic foam, the elevator has an in-air weight of -915.8 pounds without any payload.  The addition of the required anchor (-375# air) brings that total to -1290# in air.  The addition of 1200# of payload brings the in-air total weight very close to the 2500# limit.

In water, the empty elevator has approximately +281.65 pounds of lift. A 375# in-air (steel) / (326.25# in water) anchor will provide -44.6# net weight to keep the elevator on the bottom. The addition of -250# in-water weight of payload will leave + 31.65# of lift to bring the elevator back to the surface once the anchor is released.  This is a minimal amount of lift and may lengthen the time for the elevator to reach the surface.

For additional information, contact the Marine Operations Technician.

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