Research into the Effects of Motion Simulation on Tugboat Captain Training and Performance in Bridge Simulators
Application of motion simulation is currently not common within nautical bridge simulators. It is expected that simulation of physical ship motions provides important cues that will enhance simulator training and performance. An experiment was set up to examine the effect of motion simulation on tugboat captain training and performance in bridge simulators. The experiment was conducted in two simulators, the MARIN Bridge Simulator located in Wageningen and the TNO Desdemona located in Soesterberg. The MARIN simulator has a full scale and fully equipped bridge. This simulator is a fixed-based simulator with a 210 degree projected scenery and additional rear view. The Desdemona simulator has a cabin with a basic bridge mock-up which can only accommodate one person at the time, but this cabin is mounted in an advanced 6-dof motion platform. The participating captains sailed a set of two different operational scenarios under various sea-state conditions. Each set of scenarios was repeated at least three times; once in the MARIN Bridge Simulator and twice in the TNO Desdemona simulator (once with motion and once without motion). During each scenario various experimental observables were measured in different areas of interest, such as workload measurement, to assess if and how motion simulation affects the workload and performance. Furthermore the captains were asked to fill out questionnaires regarding how they experienced the actual simulator capabilities and workload in performing their tasks. The paper describes the set up of the experiment and compares the performance of the tugboat captains for the different simulator systems.