Aalesund University College (AUC) has recently established its Research Centre for Marine Operations in Virtual Environments (MOVE).
The centre is a multi-disciplinary research organization devoted to understand human behavior and the complex interplay and interdependency between humans when performing demanding Marine Operations, and promote safe, efficient and competent performance in a holistic perspective by the aid of realistic and relevant Virtual Environments.
The Centre’s focus will be on demanding offshore operations where ships are involved, such as subsea deployment and maintenance, well intervention, rig move and anchor handling etc. These are all important marine operations, and the wealth of many nations depends on continuous and successful performance of such operations. From one perspective they are ordinary tasks, required to be performed on a regular basis. At the same time such operations are non-trivial, risky, expensive, highly integrated and technologically demanding, as well as requiring competent leadership and complex team performance. One is from time to time reminded that the consequences of failure are substantial.
Computer assisted simulation is not new to marine operation exploration and training. Virtual environments have up to now been used to describe ‘worlds’, real or imaginary, developed in and by computer graphics, experienced visually through various types of screen display systems or head-mounted displays and interacted with through standard or multimodal input devices.
Modern interactive real-time simulation and visualisation technology, however, offer new opportunities to combine virtual environments with real environments, instruments and equipments thereby creating highly realistic, integrated environments mimicking the work positions, tasks and relevant characteristics of real operations. The term Virtual Environments is therefore used here to describe integrated, collaborative systems of real and virtual components which allows a demanding offshore operation to be mimicked in a holistic manner and which brings the participants to act in a first-person perspective; that is, to act as if they were realistically performing a real operation.
The offshore community is continuously met with new challenges, deeper waters, hasher climates and conditions, as well as clear focus on environment and zero tolerance for accidents. The necessity of safe, efficient and competent, joint performance at all levels, execution and leadership, is paramount. This involves thorough understanding of operation, access to and sharing of sufficient information, clear and concise communication, capable technology as well as appropriate procedures and guidelines and the wisdom of experience.
Through this centre, AUC will assist the offshore community in shaping the human conditions and collaboration that ensure future competent performance of demanding offshore operations in a holistic perspective.