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Maritime simulations: a solid foundation for port design

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An increasing number of organisations are using maritime simulations to create better ports by testing their designs at the initial concept stage.

Simulating a port and its surroundings can provide a full appreciation of a design at the early stages of a development project.

AMC Search’s Simulations Manager, Matt Best, said that simulations allow real-world ship operators to test a new port or wharf concept before anything is built.  

“Maritime simulations have long been used for training and operations for new ports. But by the time a port has been developed, it’s often too late to rectify any shortcomings in its design,” he said.

“The main advantage of using a simulator to evaluate a design at the concept stage is you can bring in those seafarers who will ultimately be operating vessels in the new port.

“By involving real ship operators, port or wharf designs can then be proven to work — or be amended before it is too late and costly re-designs are required.”

AMC’s Full Mission Bridge simulator — a full-scale mock-up of a ship and its surroundings — can simulate over 130 vessel models transiting a port in real time, manoeuvred by humans and across a range of environmental conditions.

An in-house team builds up hydrodynamic and visual models based on custom bathymetry, current, wind, tide and wave data.

Real-time runs through a simulated port allow different criteria to be examined, including channel width, swing basin dimensions and aids to navigation. The analysis lets berth location and bearing relative to prevailing conditions be amended as required.

Simulated runs also allow an appreciation of vessel transit times, which helps avoid bottlenecks or delays, especially in ports with tide-bound ships.

Mr Best said AMC’s maritime simulation facilities have been used by over 40 organisations for port development or port feasibility studies.

“Our ship simulation facilities are among the best in the southern hemisphere, with features including 4k projectors, a fully interactive de-briefing chart table, and in-house capabilities to develop hydrodynamic and visual models.

“Importantly, we also pride ourselves on understanding and meeting the needs of individual organisations to optimise their port or wharf design in a flexible and bespoke way.”

Published on: 13 Dec 2017