Dutch Minister Micky Adriaansens of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy has kicked off construction of MARIN’s new Seven Oceans Simulator centre (SOSc) with a virtual push of a button. The facility is to make maritime operations safer and more efficient through realistic simulation of the behaviour of and the interaction between maritime structures, ships, the environment and humans.
The kick-off took place 5 September and the SOSc will be operational at the beginning of 2024.
‘The safety of shipping requires new solutions: container ships are getting bigger, the traffic at sea is increasing and the weather conditions are changing,’ says Minister Adriaansens. ‘This unique simulator plays an important role in these necessary innovations. Simulating difficult situations at sea and the response of man and machine to them provide valuable information that makes shipping safer and smarter. An impressive example of the passion with which MARIN works on innovations that contribute to social and economic challenges for the maritime sector.’
Spherical and moving simulators
The research centre will have spherical and moving simulators, a virtual reality (VR)/augmented reality (AR) experiment room and human factor measurement and observation techniques that can be used flexibly to simulate complex maritime operations.
Arno Bons, manager Simulation & Visualisation: ‘The spherical simulators with moving bridge will be unique worldwide because the environmental projection is not only all around, but also upwards and downwards. In the Maritime eXperience Lab, we research the latest VR/AR systems and apply them for maritime systems and operations, both above and below water. We can also link all simulators to each other to simulate complex multi-ship and multi-tool operations.’
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Experience future ships in the design phase
The SOSc provides an important boost to MARIN’s mission: clean, smart and safe shipping and sustainable use of the sea.
‘In addition to research into shipping safety, this new virtual test facility makes it possible to experience the behaviour of future ships during the design phase, in which the role of the crew and cooperation on board are central,’ concludes Bas Buchner, Managing Director of MARIN. ‘It gives the national and international maritime sector the opportunity to develop innovative ships with safe and maximum operational deployment under the most difficult sea conditions.’