Australian trainer extends simulation package and explores VR
Simulator specialist Kongsberg Digital has cemented its long-standing position as the primary supplier of simulation software and hardware to the Australian Maritime College (AMC), with the recent confirmation of a new Long-Term System Support Program (LTSSP).
Kongsberg Digital Area Sales Manager Paul Gilkison and AMC principal Michael van Balen signed the agreement – the third successive five-year contract between the two parties – earlier in August.
Kongsberg Digital simulators are the platform of choice at the AMC’s world-class Centre for Maritime Simulations; and as van Balen explained, the continuing relationship with KONGSBERG provides stability in AMC’s training methodology. “Simulation is an integral part of our training. It gives us the capability to run any number of scenarios in a repeatable fashion, which not only benefits the students but also enables us to learn in the teaching environment as well.”
Gilkison added that the agreement demonstrates Kongsberg Digital’s ongoing commitment to meeting the diverse technology and support needs at the AMC. “Our continuing engagement allows the AMC to make sure that the product we are delivering is actually going to address the needs of the maritime community,” he says.
Gilkison pointed out that software is continually subject to improvements over the life of the LTSSP. “This year, we hope to be able to roll out the new K-Sim Navigation platform for the AMC, which will provide more offshore simulation scenarios as well as handling traditional ship navigation training.”
Damien Freeman from the AMC’s Centre for Maritime Simulations says K-Sim Navigation represents a groundbreaking move into next-generation platform functionality, including virtual reality interactions (VRI). “VRI enables a student to be placed in simulation exercises on the deck of a ship, in the engine room or on the bridge, experiencing and interacting with the simulated environment as they would in the real world.
“K-Sim Navigation is based on a cutting-edge technology platform and will enable more realistic training scenarios and enhanced user benefits for both instructors and students. An advanced new physical engine and state-of-the-art hydrodynamic modelling will allow vessels, objects and equipment to behave and interact as in real life.
“Vessels and objects including various geographical training areas and all possible weather conditions are brought to life with a sophisticated new visual system.” Freeman added that K-Sim functionality will enable all AMC simulators to be integrated seamlessly to enable common exercise for full crew resource management training.
AMC’s Maritime Simulation Centre features a full mission ship’s bridge simulator, two 360° tug simulators, a full mission engine room, an advanced dynamic positioning bridge simulator, six basic dynamic positioning simulators, six ship operations cubicles and an 18-seat electronic chart display laboratory. The simulation facilities bridge the gap between practice and theory and are used for research into port development, ship manoeuvring, improving ship and port safety, training seafarers and teaching undergraduates.