Voyage simulations are an important aid in design choices, operational decisions, risk assessments, schedule predictions and many other activities. With increasing standards regarding safety, fuel consumption/CO2 emissions and scheduling accuracy, combined with increasing computational power, the significance of simulations in the maritime sector’s daily practice keeps growing.
Within a Joint Industry Project MARIN has developed SafeTrans as a voyage simulation tool for designing and analysing heavy cargo transports around the world. The SafeTrans user can configure ships, loading conditions, routes and voyages to use in long-term time-window simulations that predict speed, motions and cargo lashing forces at specified time intervals.
Towards a web-based application
The simulations include environment effects such as ocean currents, wind and waves. These environment factors are obtained from weather databases. Apart from their direct influence on motions, SafeTrans features a Captain’s Decision Mimic (CDM), which resembles the behaviour of captains, including their decisions about the best way to operate safely and maintain the operation planning. The CDM uses weather forecast data to choose an alternative route or to seek shelter at a port close to the route. Additionally, the CDM can decide to reduce engine settings in case motions become too strong.
Visualisation of voyages simulated for differentdeparture times
Safetrans WASP reroute example
An example of weather-based rerouting to search for favourable environment conditions: a wind-assisted ship requires less fuel taking a longer route, but with favourable wind conditions. In SafeTrans a similar rerouting method is applied to reduce ship motions and increase safety.