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Rolls-Royce, DNV GL, NTNU and SINTEF Ocean to collaborate on digital vessel twins

At the MoU signing were (back from left) Asbjørn Skaro, Rolls-Royce; Remi Eriksen, DNV GL; (front from left) Hans Petter Hildre, NTNU; and Henning Borgen, Sintef Ocean Ålesund At the MoU signing were (back from left) Asbjørn Skaro, Rolls-Royce; Remi Eriksen, DNV GL; (front from left) Hans Petter Hildre, NTNU; and Henning Borgen, Sintef Ocean Ålesund

Rolls-Royce, The Norwegian University of Technology Science (NTNU), research organisation SINTEF Ocean, and classification society DNV GL have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to create an open source digital platform for use in the development of new ships, capable of creating a vessel’s ‘digital twin’.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}A digital twin is a digital copy of a real ship, including its onboard systems, that allows any aspect of its operation to be explored through a digital interface. This creates a virtual test bench that can be used to assess the safety and performance of a vessel and its systems, both before its construction and through its lifecycle.

“We are entering a new era with the accelerated uptake of more IT technology in shipping,” said Remi Eriksen, group president and CEO, DNV GL.

“Digitalisation of information flows will have a positive impact on safety and environmental performance. By creating ships and ship technology in a virtual environment new ideas and technology can be realised and tested in a shorter time frame. A platform like this could form the basis for future class services.”

Creating this detailed simulation of the workings of a vessel should allow designers and owners to test multiple concepts before a final system is selected. The digital model can also live on beyond the initial ship delivery, and potentially be shared and re-used with other partners across the value chain to reduce future costs.

As such, the project partners intend to open the platform for use by outside parties, with some core aspects built on an open source framework – enabling designers, equipment and system manufacturers, yards, ship owners, operators, research institutes and academia to work with the models.

The platform is also designed to serve as a model library for different ship concepts, where those concepts can be made generally available or kept as part of projects with limited access.

Following the signing of the MoU, the project partners say that they are now working to form a steering group that will define and govern the development of the core platform system and its deployment.{/mprestriction}

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