Safe navigation is a priority operating principle for the UK’s largest energy Port, the Port of Milford Haven. And earlier this week the Port demonstrated that commitment with the unveiling of its new, state of the art marine navigation simulator.
Significant investment has been made in developing this new facility, and it is an exceptional tool. Built using MARIN’s latest software, DOLPHIN, the navigation suite is positioned to lead the market in training and exercise scenarios. MARIN, the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands, is an industry leader in hydrodynamic and nautical research and development and they were selected as delivery partners for this reason. Their systems bridge the gap between research and commercial operations and deliver a navigation tool with incredible precision.
Deputy Harbourmaster and Pilotage Operations Manager, Captain Steve Hardcastle, expands on its potential, “This is going to be an important facility for us and, we believe, the industry too. We’ll use it for training our own pilots who are required to manoeuver some of the world’s largest vessels inside the deep, but relatively narrow channel of the Milford Haven Waterway. The suite’s adaptability means that training scenarios can address both standard and extreme conditions but also allows training in emergency scenarios such as failure of ship’s equipment and machinery. The facility will be promoted for use by others in the maritime industry.”
“The simulator suite has a modular design. Rooms can either be booked individually or as a whole to allow a combination of navigation bridge, tug bridge and VTS simulation suite in creating a complex port-wide scenario,” Steve continued. “The software allows users to experience as close to real life as is possible with exact reaction to all environmental and hydrodynamic forces (such as ship to ship interaction or bank suction), all within a safe environment. It also has multiple vessel programs and we can even modify the suite to recreate different bridge layouts.”
Noel Bovens of MARIN continues: The DOLPHIN software follows DNV guidelines and is based on extensive and on-going research into the field of ship hydrodynamics, port and waterway design. Our mathematical ship models are widely considered as highly sophisticated maneuvering models that are based on sea trials and model test results. It is a high performing piece of equipment and we can see the suite becoming a primary training and learning site for the sector.
Port of Milford Haven’s Chief Executive, Alec Don, summarises: “Safe operations on the waterway are our primary concern. Alongside the commissioning of three new pilot vessels, investment in portable safe navigation software, and a major dredging campaign, the Marine Navigation Suite has been a key element of our investment strategy. The suite also demonstrates the dynamic nature of our business, with our team taking an innovative approach to solving industry issues.”
Both the Port and MARIN are looking forward to a long and productive partnership extending into all aspects of marine simulation.