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Torpedo Storage On Target

ActivRAC® 16P and Mechanical Assist High-Density Mobile Storage is Used at the Naval Undersea Museum to Store Everything from Sonic Buoys to Torpedoes

The Challenge

There were several challenges facing the United States Navy -Naval Undersea Museum, according to Jennifer Heinzelman, the Collections Manager/Registrar.

Museum quality storage products were needed in order topreserve and protect the many artifacts stored in the facility, but many of the storage spaces were also filled to capacity. They were essentially running out of space.

They decided to house the collection in a Spacesaver high-density mobile storage system to maximize capacity. Still,there was the collection of torpedoes to consider, some weighing upwards of 6,000 lbs, which were currently stored on old, rusty, static industrial shelving that was not protected from seismic. Maneuvering around the static shelving with a forklift and 22’ torpedo was difficult and dangerous

The Solution

The museum worked with a Spacesaver distributor to design a mechanical assist high-density storage system for the archives that accommodates films and books. A second system was installed and equipped to store everything from rare diving equipment to sonic buoys. Spacesaver mobile art racks were also installed to house various 2D hanging art.

Spacesaver also helped the museum address environmental and possible disaster control scenarios like seismic or fire damage and integrate solutions into the storage solutions.

To more effectively and safely store the torpedo collection, a powered ActivRAC® 16 was installed in lieu of the static shelving. By compacting the system, idle aisles were eliminated, freeing up space. This excess of space allowed for the access aisle, when open, to be significantly widened, which better allowed for forklift access and maneuverability. Racks move with a simple push of a button and aisles are equipped with redundant safety systems.

The new shelving used in conjunction with the ActivRAC system can also be reconfigured to accommodate for flat shelving if needed and can be moved up or down. This is helpful if different shaped or larger items need to be stored on this industrial system.

“We plan to expand more and more,” said Heinzelman.

Storage Solved

With the new high-density mobile system and art racks in the archive area there has been a 60% increase in storage capacity, and all types of artifacts are now stored in a museum quality storage system.

By transitioning from stationary shelving to ActivRAC mobile racking, the museum was able to move from storing 66 torpedoes to 110, with a much safer access system.

The storage solutions provided for the Naval Undersea Museum truly contributed to the preservation of these priceless artifacts and have helped expand the spaces available for storing artifacts.

The Naval Undersea Museum is currently planning another ActivRAC system to store sea mines, submersibles, andsubmarine consoles, among other large and hard to store item.

To learn more, contact our office today. Call 410-472-0824 or email

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