RA 4 Integrated Simulator Environment

RA 4 Integrated Simulator Environment

The aim of this RA is to develop a simulator arena as a research centre for integrated marine operations, and to perform close to real life simulations of human participation in demanding marine operations.

Marine operations are getting increasingly demanding, complex and integrated between different parties. The human element is the dominant source of error in demanding marine operations. Moreover, a majority of human failures is linked to situational awareness challenges. To ensure an efficient and safe design of the system and the operational procedures, it is therefore vital to distinguish between the human operators understanding of the system status and the actual system status. The existing centre in Aalesund is currently training 1200 professionals in the maritime industry in simulators and will be an important asset in the research.

The maritime offshore cluster is characterized by high innovation rate and customisation. Speeding innovation by testing and verifying alternative marine operations, ship design, equipment, machineries and procedures will increase the industrial competitive power.

Engineering Models Adapted for Real-time Simulation

Engineering calculation models will be prepared for use in Real-Time Simulation models, using the advanced computer tools for design and analysis of individual components and subsystems to be developed in RA2. The ability to assess performance under realistic operational conditions and to see how the system affects other systems or the ship as a whole, is becoming increasingly important during a design process. This involves simplification of engineering models as well as integration of models that are different in nature.

Research task and scientific method:

  • Develop better understanding of complex system properties and behaviors, in order to optimize new system designs.
  • Reduce model order and accuracy while maintaining the most important dynamics.
  • Investigate validity of the models and components outside the area of “normal” operation.
  • Define the interfaces (inputs/outputs) of the most common model types.

Integration into simulator environment customized for Marine Operations

FigureIn order to develop a simulator environment that enables the users to easily configure ship design for new operations, and combine them in a full-system simulation for the purpose of design, testing and training of the complete maritime system, the developed numerical models will be integrated into a total simulator system, comprising all necessary systems (as shown in Fig. 1) Effective and flexible interfaces to additional modules will be established. The additional models will vary from theoretical models based on physics, models exported from different standard design tools, to empirical models based on full scale data from sea trials or logged data from real operations. One PhD student will be related to this research area.

Research tasks:

  • Fitting realistic engineering models and measurements to real time simulations.
  • Develop standardized performance measures, operational profiles and operational scenarios for design benchmarks.

Marine Operations Performance Assessment

The simulation centre will be used to evaluate marine operations with respect to safe working procedures and to study human capabilities, both as individuals and as members of a team. The key to achieve this is to combine models of technical system with monitoring of human behaviour in a realistic working environment. To obtain sufficient flexibility for varying scenarios, a well-designed configuration of the working stations and simulation models is required. Challenges for this task include: understanding of effectiveness and risk during marine operations, closing the gap between perception of system status and actual system status.

Research tasks:

  • Evaluate risk and performance of technical systems and human-machine interface
  • Develop KPIs which effectively reflect situational awareness of the crew members and its impact on risk.
  • Present the overall risk picture with customized visualization tools.

Innovative Design Processes Using Integrated Simulator Arena 

The goal of this RA is to make benefit of real-time simulation as a mean to stimulate innovation. Crew, designer, experts and other stakeholders can make benefit from sharing insight and explore ideas on new processes and designs.

Research tasks:

  • Study of innovation drivers connected to simulated operations, equipment and human resources.
  • Methods to incorporate contextual (e.g. rules and environmental conditions) and perceptual (e.g. multi-operator risk) marine operations uncertainties into the simulator.
  • Development of a framework to integrate multi-operator and multi-stakeholder virtual prototype assessment.
  • Development of KPIs for benchmarking of designed and simulated marine operations.
  • Methods to incorporate real-time simulation data into design decision-making.

Main outcomes of this working package in total will include the following aspects:

  • Important generic models adapted to realize and then transfer to a real simulator.
  • A balanced portfolio of defined domain models matching the scale of the whole system to make the system flexible and fast enough
  • Effective simulator framework for design and innovation processes.
  • Standardized data exchange format between the various simulator modules.
  • Improved process of establishing parametric behaviour models for the vessel(s).
  • Improved process and tools for defining new maritime operation scenarios.
  • Better insight into an effective team with prime focus on operational risk reduction.
  • ‘One stop’ risk picture allowing for timely intervention to correct deviation from acceptable levels of risk.
  • An arena for interdisciplinary and innovative research, continuously using applied research to improve equipment feasibility, designs of systems, decision making, planning and training with respect to marine operations.