Intelligent Simulator of Ship Manoeuvring (SIMULATOR)

Duration: 01.03.2005-28.02.2008 (46 months)

Coordination: Instituto Superior Técnico


Funding Entity: Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology

The project is aiming at the development of a manoeuvring simulator which can be characterized as “intelligent” and differing from the existing ones by simulation of real control actions. Namely, it is supposed to add an option of the higher-level ship control that is with a strategy presuming generation leading to solution of some ship-handling task. This strategy is usually trivial in the open sea but becomes of primary importance when approaching the narrow fairwater with intense ship traffic and at berthing operations. The commands and actions related to corresponding manoeuvres cannot be described laws as they include some previsions and accumulated experience worked out for any particular harbour. Control strategies can vary depending on the and on the actual current field distribution depending on the tidal phase. That is why, the harbouring and berthing are actions always executed manually. navigators are capable perform these manoeuvres successfully and reliably, automation of these procedures would be highly desirable as it will reduce dangerous human factor, almost certainly will reduce the required time at better safety level and will put the water transport on the modern level of automation aircraft is already possible and the automatic mode has always been a primary and preferred option in space technology). As experimental automated harbours are potentially dangerous and costly, virtual reality simulation will be a natural initial in development of such higher-level automatic control system Navigator (AN) and will be included into the simulator. The core manoeuvring mathematical model is supposed to be developed for the Transtejo catamaran manoeuvring properties were studied by IST several years ago and for which a simple mathematical model has already been developed. The model will its accuracy and to include the environmental factors by known methods. The AN block will contain a base of knowledge on the harbour manoeuvring system based on the fuzzy logic and, alternatively, on artificial neural network technologies. The mentioned knowledge base will be created by means performed on actual ferries in normal operation. The resulting desktop simulator will include a specially developed graphic shell displaying images all the instruments, the bird’s eye view and the virtual reality image of the surrounding objects. The developed simulator can be immediately used for training.

Project Team

Associated Publications