On Tuesday December 10th SNAME President Peter Noble and Robert Hanraads from the Nautical Institute jointly opened the new bridge simulator at the MARIN offices in Houston. They were asked by MARIN for this event to illustrate that this simulator was built as a bridge between engineering and operations. Watched by representatives of oil majors, engineering companies and offshore contractors, Robert Hanraads then performed the first simulated offloading operation on the simulator.
At the preceding lunch, MARIN President Dr. Bas Buchner explained why MARIN built the simulator in Houston:
“To develop safer and smarter offshore structures and operations, MARIN wants to use its simulations, model tests, training and full scale monitoring activities in an integrated way. The new simulator allows direct interaction between engineers and operational people and opens new possibilities for more operational input in the design in the Houston area.”
With its 6 projectors the new simulator gives a very realistic view of the surroundings of the ship, including platforms in the area, tugs, realistic ports, waves and weather. The bridge has a professional instrument panel with electronic charts, system information and radar. The simulator runs with the same software as the desktop simulation programs used by MARIN for engineering studies and third party verification during the design. The software is extensively validated with MARIN’s basin tests and full scale monitoring.
MARIN already performed many studies for US clients in its simulators in Netherlands. Arjan Voogt, manager of MARIN’s Houston office: “With this Houston simulator this can be done close to the offices of oil majors and majors contractors. This allows more involvement from the engineers”.
The Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) was founded in 1932 and is presently the largest independent maritime research institute in the world. It employs 350 people in its offices in The Netherlands and operates 6 large model testing facilities, 2 large bridge simulators and a number of tug stations. Since 1998 it has an office in Houston to serve the offshore industry in Houston.