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New concept for DP training and ship maneuvering moving the simulator onboard

Offshore vessels are continuously growing in size and complexity, and recruiting deck officers with the necessary skills and experience is proving more and more difficult. Training in onshore simulators is being used to improve maneuvering skills. SMSC now makes it possible to move this technology on to the actual vessel, enabling training on simulated operations onboard your own vessel.

Bård Helge Thingstad, project manager at SMSC has high expectations to the project; “Today, training in simulators is done onshore. In a way, the Onboard Training System (“OTS”) moves the simulator on to the vessel, and makes it possible to control your own vessel in a virtual world. This caters for more relevant training and lower training costs”.

Thingstad explains that with the OTS concept, the vessel is controlled in a normal manner by a deck officer on the bridge, either by the use of manual controls or by the use of Dynamic Positioning (“DP”). The vessels motions and position in the virtual world is calculated based on input from the vessels navigational aids (minimum GPS and Gyro) and shown on a dedicated screen. While the vessel is actually in safe, open waters, the virtual world can contain imaginary objects and installations (such as rigs, buoys, piers, etc.) that are shown on the screen. Using this setup, we can simulate approach to a platform or other installations, docking the ship at any port, navigate in narrow and constricted waters, and a number of other operations.

Simon Møkster Shipping AS is participating in the development of this technology with SMSC. “We place a great emphasis on safety onboard all of our ships, and we see the correlation between relevant training and improved skills of our personnel. We are particularly looking for three things; familiarization with equipment and vessel, “flight time” on DP, and practice on incidents like interruptions, system errors and so forth”, says Operation Manager Nils A Liaaen at Møkster Shipping AS.

The prototype for OTS will be tested onboard Simon Møksters vessel “Strilmøy” during the fall of 2012. The product is scheduled for release in the spring of 2013. The Onboard Training System is developed by Ship Modelling & Simulation Centre AS in cooperation with Simon Møkster Shipping AS with support from Innovation Norway. All rights to the product are protected through Patent Pending.

About SMSC

Ship Modelling & Simulation Centre AS (SMSC) develops maritime- and offshore-related simulators for use in training and operational conceptual evaluations. SMSC develops its own software and provides custom-made simulation-based training for all types of vessels on any location. The SMSC head office is situated in Trondheim, Norway.

About Simon Møkster Shipping AS

Simon Møkster Shipping AS is a supplier of modern offshore support vessels with high quality specifications, designed for operations in harsh weather conditions. The company's head office is located in Stavanger, Norway and main operational area is the North- and the Barents Sea. Møkster has a fleet of 23 vessels and approximately 650 employees onshore and offshore. Simon Møkster Shipping is 100% owned by the Møkster family.

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