New Testing Software Simulates Autonomous Vessel Control

By Mike Ball / 07 Oct 2016

H-Scientific ShipSim

H-Scientific Ltd (HSL), a developer of ship simulation technologies, has announced the release of ShipSim 3 and AUVSim, simulation software packages for surface and sub-surface vessels respectively. Both simulators allow autopilot and unmanned vessel designers the ability to simulate the vessel control and dynamics prior to committing to expensive sea trials.

Ship Sim 3 is a surface vessel simulator that can be configured using the ISO16329, IEC 62065 or proprietary detailed model, to model the behavior of a large range of ships. Applications include autopilot test and development, and training. Features include:

  • Real time high accuracy modeling of vessel, in configurable sea currents, wind speeds, and wave speeds
  • Customisable user interface
  • Joystick, helm and throttle controls can be interfaced
  • Multiple vessels in a simulation
  • Support for AIS, RADAR, and NMEA 2000
  • Optional external 3D view

AUVSim simulates the behaviour of an underwater vehicle, such as an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), mini-submarine (manned or unmanned), or remotely operated vehicle (ROV), and includes the following features:

  • Realistic six degree of freedom simulation, including:
    -User – configurability, allowing user to position and specify properties of vehicle components
    -Performance of actuators and static bodies, including added mass effects
    -Environmental effects, including tide and sea-state
    -Wave response model: The motions are calculated via the shape of the sea surface as well as the vehicle’s velocity with respect to the waves. A user interface dialog allows the amplitudes of response to be scaled independently for surge, sway and yaw.
  • Control algorithms to optimally control the actuators to perform a chosen task, including waypoint following and dynamic positioning
  • Auto-tuning algorithms to optimise the performance of the controllers for the specific vehicle
  • Serial communications – sensor outputs include NMEA, TCM2, PD6
  • Analogue input and output – for example, from external console, or input from measurement of actuator position
  • Record and Playback
  • Wire-frame (view from above, east and south) views, 3D external view, Chart view
  • NMEA 2000 interface (CAN Bus) supported

HSL’s founder, Dr Henry Robinson, stated: “With an increase in the number of autonomous vessels being designed and the increased cost of sea trials and the resultant delays in the time to market, we offer a cost effective aid to the design process. It is a proven way to optimise the design.”

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Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact