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) with the aim of creating an open source digital platform for use in the development of new ships.
The platform would allow the creation of so called “digital twins”. A digital twin is a digital copy of a real ship, including its systems, that synthesises the information available about the ship in a digital world. This allows any aspect of an asset to be explored through a digital interface, creating a virtual test bench to assess the safety and performance of a vessel and its systems, both before its construction and through its lifecycle.
Asbjørn Skaro, director digital and systems, Rolls-Royce – Marine said: “The platform will enable us to build digital twins of real ships, which in turn will form the basis for novel ways of designing, constructing, verifying and operating new maritime concepts and technology.”
Remi Eriksen, group president and CEO, DNV GL said: “We are entering a new era with the accelerated uptake of more IT-technology in shipping. 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 realized and tested in a shorter time frame. A platform like this could form the basis for future class services.”
The project partners intend to open the platform for use by other parties, with some core aspects built on an open source framework – enabling designers, equipment and system manufacturers, yards, shipowners, operators, research institutes and academia to work together to co-create and innovate together. The platform is also designed to serve as a model library for different ship concepts, where concepts can be made generally available or kept part of projects with limited access. Following the signing of the MoU, the project partners are now working to form a steering group that will define and govern the development of the core platform system and its deployment.