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On-board Decision Support System for Ship Flooding Emergency Response

Elsevier B.V.
DOI: 10.1016/j.procs.2014.05.154
  • Decision Support Systems
  • Ship Damage Control
  • Virtual Environments
  • Flooding Simulation
  • Computer Science


Abstract The paper describes a simulation system to support emergency planning decisions when ship flooding occurs. The events of grounding and collision are considered, where the risk of subsequent flooding of hull compartments is very high, and must be avoided or at least minimized. The system is based on a highly optimized algorithm that estimates, ahead in time, the progressive flooding of the compartments according to the current ship status and existing damages. Flooding times and stability parameters are measured, allowing for the crew to take the adequate measures, such as isolate or counter-flood compartments, before the flooding takes incontrollable proportions. The simulation is supported by a Virtual Environment in real-time, which provides all the functionalities to evaluate the seriousness and consequences of the situation, as well as to test, monitor and carry out emergency actions. Being a complex physical phenomena that occurs in an equally complex structure such as a ship, the real-time flooding simulation combined with the Virtual Environment requires large computational power to ensure the accuracy of the simulation results. Moreover, the distress normally experienced by the crew in such situations, and the urgent (and hopefully appropriate) required counter-measures, leave no room for inaccuracies or misinterpretations, caused by the lack of computational power, to become acceptable. For the events considered, the system is primarily used as a decision support tool to take urgent actions in order to avoid or at least minimize disastrous consequences such as oil spilling, sinking, or even loss of human lives.

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