Sea Technology

MAR 2017

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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32 st / March 2017 system to another. The main causes of this are sampling de- lays, processing time and data transfer, all of which Cruden has worked hard to iron out. Cruden's pioneering solution, which synchronizes and minimizes latency to an unrivalled degree, enables the simulator to anticipate how to react by building predictive algorithms into its calculations. The result is zero simulator-induced latency: the total- ly convincing impression that the simulated boat behaves in exactly the same way as the real thing. The Fast Small Ship Simulator responds dynamically to control inputs, re- produces complex hydrodynamic effects, and mimics boat behavior caused by forces such as wind, waves and wake. Movements made by the machine's base correspond with dynamic feedback through the controls and a believable wraparound view in •ve large screens. Future models will provide an even more immersive experience by providing a 360° view with 8-m-diameter projector screens. To match the dynamic authenticity, the simulator is made operationally realistic by adopting the real-world boat's cockpit layout, controls and navigation systems. The simula- tor's open architecture allows the use of common communi- cation and navigation methods (ECDIS, AIS, ARPA) and the seamless integration of OEM equipment from manufactur- can also expect to gain from this technology. Such positive news might sound surprising given that small ship simula- tors, unlike bridge simulators, are not yet widely adopted. That's because these two types of simulator have very dif- ferent requirements. Bridge simulators enable the practice of procedures by providing a working replica of a large ves- sel's controls and navigation systems, but because boats of this size move serenely through choppy waters and respond slowly to control inputs, there's no essential need to provide sensations of movement. Fast small ships, on the other hand, respond eagerly to control inputs and are profoundly affect- ed by sea and wind conditions, and anyone learning how to handle such a boat must experience this. Whereas small ship simulators of the past were unable to provide such ex- perience, the new simulator can. It has taken a world-class collaborative effort, and the formation of an FSSS consortium, to make this progress. This involves MARIN, with its vast experience of developing complex simulation envi- ronments for the maritime and nautical industry; Tree C Technology, the 3D vi- sualization and software developer for offshore simulation; and Cruden, a creator of automotive, motorsport and, now, ma- rine simulators. Design At Cruden's headquar- ters in Amsterdam, 30 en- gineers possess expertise in every aspect of simu- lator hardware, software, motion cueing, dynamics, rendering and content. This collective knowledge has produced automotive simulators capable of mimicking the behavior of real cars so precisely that manufacturers such as Audi, Porsche and Jaguar Land Rover use Cruden simulators for vehicle devel- opment, and several Formula One teams rely on them for driver training and chassis development. It is by carrying over the technology developed for automotive clients, and by marrying it to MARIN's detailed knowledge about hydro- dynamics, that Cruden has been able to bring new realism to marine simulators. The heart of Cruden's simulator is a hexapod motion plat- form that moves coxswain and navigator in all 6 degrees of freedom. These movements only feel convincing if the platform responds appropriately to control inputs and to ex- ternal forces, such as wind and waves. In a Formula One simulator, if the delay between driver input and vehicle re- sponse is 30 milliseconds longer than in real life, the simu- lator is worthless. It's similar with a fast craft. When you see you've hit a wave, you cannot wait 30 milliseconds to feel it because at 65 kt. you will already have travelled another meter, and piercing that wave would feel unrealistic. This need for speed presents a challenge for simulator manufacturers because there is unavoidable time lag, or la- tency, in sending information from one point in a simulator's (Top) Using detailed modeling and motion-cueing techniques developed in the automotive and mo- torsport industries, Cruden's FSSS is designed to set a new training standard for offshore, coast guard, defense, search and rescue, and security and control applications. (Bottom) To provide an effective training environment, Cruden creates a realistic workplace for driver and navigator that has an identi- cal look and feel to the real console. (Photo Credit: MARIN)

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