Research methods

Research methods

An objective is to establish an arena as a research centre for demanding marine operations using simulators. This research centre will perform close to real life simulations of human participation in integrated marine operations. The research will use and further develop general and tailor-made combinations of numerical methods and tools verified with physical tests under controlled laboratory condition in hydrodynamic laboratories. Numerical analysis will be based on the state-of-art software SIMO and RIFLEX, developed at Marine Technology Centre [16]. An important aspect for the coming generations of numerical models and tools, is coupling between different solutions methods (potential theory, CFD, SPH etc.) and analysis tools spanning multiple computational domains (far-field, near-field).

More importantly, in order to meet the needs with regard to real time applications described in the MO project, means of reducing the computation time will be focused on, however, still providing adequate description of the physics involved. A balance between the number of defined domain models and the scale of the whole system will be met to make the system flexible and fast enough.

Ship systems communicate through a number of formats and protocols. The variety in protocols and in installed instruments and systems makes it difficult to integrate new systems, especially those which require information from many different subsystems. In addition, each of these protocols must be set up with explicit knowledge of where and how to access each piece of information. In contrast, there exists another communication paradigm known as publish-subscribe. A notably standard is the OMG open standard Data Distribution System (DDS). This enables integrating against an existing system based on the information one needs, rather than where and how it is available. This makes it possible to create standard applications integrating against any ship without massive customization.

The basis for state estimators is a mathematical model representing the system to be observed, and a set of sensor signals that updates the model in real-time. Today, closed-loop systems based on state estimators are found in all modern offshore vessels. The next step for developing system state estimators is to include the operations and provide information to the operation management which is relevant for the actual stage of the operation. This will provide information about e.g. objects being transferred through the wave zone and positioning of units on the seabed. Results from the project will be made available as i) scientific papers and publications, ii) databases and numerical tools for designing and planning demanding marine operations, iii) on-board systems providing guidance during operation and iv) training scenarios and physics modules for preparation and training for demanding development operations.

With an extensive simulator facility it is possible both to do research regarding effectiveness, risk and general feasibility for already established designs and/or procedures, and to test and evaluate suggested improvements.