Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Running shipwreck simulations backwards helps identify dangerous waves

05.10.2007
Big waves in fierce storms have long been the focus of ship designers in simulations testing new vessels.

But a new computer program and method of analysis by University of Michigan researchers makes it easy to see that a series of smaller waves—a situation much more likely to occur—could be just as dangerous.

"Like the Edmund Fitzgerald that sank in Michigan in 1975, many of the casualties that happen occur in circumstances that aren't completely understood, and therefore they are difficult to design for," said Armin Troesch, professor of naval architecture and marine engineering. "This analysis method and program gives ship designers a clearer picture of what they're up against."

Troesch and doctoral candidate Laura Alford will present a paper on their findings Oct. 2 at the International Symposium on Practical Design of Ships and Other Floating Structures, also known as PRADS 2007.

Today's ship design computer modeling programs are a lot like real life, in that they go from cause to effect. A scientist tells the computer what type of environmental conditions to simulate, asking, in essence, "What would waves like this do to this ship?" The computer answers with how the boat is likely to perform.

Alford and Troesch's method goes backwards, from effect to cause. To use their program, a scientist enters a particular ship response, perhaps the worst case scenario. The question this time is more like, "What are the possible wave configurations that could make this ship experience the worst case scenario?" The computer answers with a list of water conditions.

What struck the researchers when they performed their analysis was that quite often, the biggest ship response is not caused by the biggest waves. Wave height is only one contributing factor. Others are wave grouping, wave period (the amount of time between wave crests), and wave direction.

"In a lot of cases, you could have a rare response, but when we looked at just the wave heights that caused that response, we found they're not so rare," Alford said. "This is about operational conditions and what you can be safely sailing in. The safe wave height might be lower than we thought."

This new method is much faster than current simulations. Computational fluid dynamics modeling in use now works by subjecting the virtual ship to random waves. This method is extremely computationally intensive and a ship designer would have to go through months of data to pinpoint the worst case scenario.

Alford and Troesch's program and method of analysis takes about an hour. And it gives multiple possible wave configurations that could have statistically caused the end result.

There's an outcry in the shipping industry for advanced ship concepts, including designs with more than one hull, Troesch said. But because ships are so large and expensive to build, prototypes are uncommon. This new method is meant to be used in the early stages of design to rule out problematic architectures. And it is expected to help spur innovation.

A majority of international goods are still transported by ship, Troesch said.

The paper is called "A Methodology for Creating Design Ship Responses."

The University of Michigan College of Engineering is ranked among the top engineering schools in the country. Michigan Engineering boasts one of the largest engineering research budgets of any public university, at more than $130 million. Michigan Engineering has 11 departments and an NSF Engineering Research Centers. Within those departments and the center, there is a special emphasis on research in three emerging areas: nanotechnology and integrated icrosystems; cellular and molecular biotechnology; and information technology. Michigan Engineering is seeking to raise $110 million for capital building projects and program support in these areas to further research discovery. Michigan Engineering's goal is to advance academic scholarship and market cutting-edge research to improve public health and well-being.

Nicole Casal Moore | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umich.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht NASA sees quick development of Hurricane Dora
27.06.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Collapse of the European ice sheet caused chaos
27.06.2017 | CAGE - Center for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Climate and Environment

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>