Fast-time simulation is used to evaluate a wide range of scenarios covering changes in water level, current, wind, draught etc., and it is therefore a highly efficient tool.
Fast-time simulations can reduce the cost of carrying out full-mission bridge simulations as problematic areas and conditions are identified at an early stage, enabling a more targeted full-mission bridge simulation scenario to be planned and executed.
Fast-time simulations are carried out in order to focus on alternative channel layouts. The simulations provide an objective quantification of the conditions and are therefore ideal for comparing different layouts.
In the fast-time simulation, a numerical navigator is used. The navigator is designed to behave as human-like as possible. It follows a pre-defined track plan, and human error or misjudgements are included as a random function with a given standard deviation to obtain a number of different tracks as well as a track envelope. The actual sailing plan is devised in close collaboration with the Pilots navigating the channel in order to ensure that the various scenarios reflect reality. By utilizing fast-time simulations, a significant number of runs are provided, thus quantifying the findings.
The controllability of the vessel is also investigated by use of fast-time simulations to determine whether the ship is able to pass a channel under various environmental conditions. As an example, the ship may be forced to limit its speed due to squat. This might cause problems with keeping the ship in the channel because the reduced propeller thrust may not provide power to maintain steering even with full rudder. If that is the case, fast-time simulations will reveal this and the proper precautions can be taken.
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