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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34 st / March 2017 way. This makes the simulator absolutely necessary for us. We can now reduce training exercises at sea and instead spend many hours in the simulator. Whenever the instructor sits behind the students to teach basic or advanced handling skills or to rehearse mission tactics, we can be sure they will all be t to do the same thing the next day." A second reason for investing in the simulator, van Bo- degraven said, is that "there was often tension between op- erational and educational requirements. It's easy to ask why we don't reserve one of our FRISCs exclusively for training purposes, but this is difcult when boats are in great de- mand. Operational needs can suddenly change, boats can get damaged and put out of service, and training schedules get interrupted and pushed back. The simulator guarantees this problem is xed. We now know that we can meet our aims of training about 45 FRISC students every year, increas- ing the number of crew licensed for the boats." Other advantages are the possibilities to guarantee the same level of experience for each student. That's because specic sea and weather conditions, ships and other objects to interact with can be conjured at will, eliminating the real- world inconvenience and expense of having to travel many miles to nd them. Very particular operational circumstanc- es can be recreated whenever they're wanted. Potentially dangerous tactics and maneuvers can be rehearsed repeat- edly in complete safety. Initially, the Dutch Navy will use its simulators to de- velop crew skills in particular scenarios, for example, dock- ing with the mother ship lowered from its deck, running up the slipway, maneuvering in a larger vessel's wake, or ap- proaching another vessel during an anti-piracy or counter- drugs operation. In the future, the simulator could be used in mission training for surface assault troops who have to steer through tricky nearshore wave effects. It could be em- ployed to improve gun-shooting skills from fast small ships, a practice currently limited by the number of easily accessi- ble places where it's permissible to re live rounds. It could even be connected with bridge simulators for simultaneous training exercises between the FRISC and other vessels from an RNLN taskforce. Another anticipated benet is lower operational costs. It's true that purchasing a simulator represents a signicant investment—van Bodegraven estimates that three simulators will cost at least as much as ve boats—but with simulator lifespan forecast to be at least 10 years, with fewer parts to maintain, and with no risk of expensive serious-damage ac- cidents, signicant savings can be made. Noël Bovens from MARIN foresees that the most wide- reaching change brought by the Fast Small Ship Simulator in the future may well be its in"uence on boat design. The simulator's realistic hydrodynamic effects, combined with the way it makes handling maneuvers easily repeatable in almost any chosen conditions, can provide valuable data for boat manufacturers' research and development programs. In much the same way that simulators are now being used by car makers, they could ultimately change the shape of the boats themselves. But rst, the Fast Small Ship Simulator will revolutionize the way crews are trained. ST Maarten van Donselaar's background is in vehicle dynamics in the automo- tive industry. He worked previously for MathWorks and TNO Automotive be- fore starting his own virtual engineering company, the forerunner to Cruden, in 1999. Convinced by the potential of simulators in the marine industry, van Donselaar has personally steered the Fast Small Ship Simulator project. Cruden motion simulators for high-speed boat crew training.

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