Integrated Marine Operations

Integrated Marine Operations

theory for design, simulation, training and evaluation
Aalesund University College (AAUC)
Department for Technology and Nautical Science

1. Project idea and background

Anchor-handling at depths of several thousand metres, precise assembling of subsea modules weighing several hundred tons, rig-construction in the ice and the cold of the northern regions, development of small, distant fields etc, are all examples of more demanding marine operations. The complexity increases even further taking into account that these new operations require a much greater coordination between a number of operational units: the bridge, cranes, and winches onboard the vessel, the ROVs, other vessels, rigs, platforms, land bases, rescue centres, helicopters, the ship-owning company, etc. It is this interaction between people, technical and business matters, all of which is subjected to a frame of requirements imposed by the society, that we call integrated marine operations, see Figure 1.

Figure 1 A marine operation requires close interaction between people, technical and business matters, subjected to a frame of requirements imposed by the society.

Using a prototype-oriented work method, the industry is constantly developing new operations, vessels, and equipment in close cooperation with the various parties involved. The trend is increasing complexity, and shorter time for development. The projects idea is to contribute to the development of new knowledge and resources and improved skills in order to continue the innovation mechanism with a focus on simulation, human factors, and virtual prototyping.
In other words, it should be possible to set up scenarios for a given unique operation, and simulate them, which would allow evaluating their feasibility, usability, and viability. In addition, it would be possible to train for, and study, a unique and demanding operation, before it is carried out.
Integrated marine operations can be described in a three-level system, starting with the physical systems. The second level includes interaction between these physical elements and people (control). The last level involves putting the individual systems into a larger context (integrated operations), as shown on Figure 2.

Figure 2 Modelling and simulation on three levels, from physics to integrated operations management.

In order to be able to quickly put together a simulation system for integrated operations, it is necessary that during the development work, the suppliers of the different systems in the maritime cluster have developed simulation models that describe the way their systems behave. These models could then be assembled into models for Human-In-The-Loop systems (i.e. the various operational units), which in turn would be put together to integrated operations in an effective manner. This opens the way for a configuration-based work method in a network of providers. Today, this is an extremely time-consuming process.
As the ship design complexity is increasing, the crew size is diminishing, and the marine operations are getting more advanced, greater emphasis should be placed on the man-machine-interaction, in order to ensure safety and efficiency during operation. We will therefore pay a special attention to human-machine-interface.
Marine operations are controlled by visual input, instruments, and communication. Decisions are taken quickly; the controls must be within an easy reach and must provide a necessary and predictable and reliable precision. Furthermore, it is necessary to develop and implement functional and robust procedures. This work situation has a lot in common with the operation and the organization of aviation, where the increased traffic and complexity have led to more integrated operation methods. Aviation has well-established traditions in working with the borderline between human factors and technology (Human-Machine-Interaction). In order to draw advantages from this experience, and link the research communities working in marine operations and aviation, the research and education community that the present project is applying to develop would be developed in an integrated cooperation with École nationale de l’aviation civile (ENAC), which provides the core skills for the aerospace cluster in Toulouse (aerospace valley).

2. Ojectives

The main objective is:

To Develop Knowledge, Resources and Methods for Implementing
Human Factors in Design and Evaluation of Marine Operations.

Through following sub objectives:

  • Cooperation with École Nationale de l’Aviation Civile (ENAC) in Toulouse, and Curtin University in Australia transferring knowledge and methods within Human-Machine-Interaction from aviation and operations in the remote arctic subsea oil and gas fields in Australia.
  • Establish theory and methods to evaluate safety, efficiency and procedures of simulated integrated marine operation
  • Development of new master and joint PhD programmes within management of integrated marine operations and human factors. These programmes will be linked to the existing programmes within product and system design at AAUC.
  • Define a system, methods and notation allowing fast set-up of simulation of integrated operations from several Human-In-The-Loop simulators covering ships, rigs, cranes, ROVs equipment, rigs etc.

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