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FG Entwurf & Betrieb Maritimer SystemeFANTASTIC

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FANTASTIC - Functional Design and Optimisation of Ship Hull Forms

Project Abstract

To meet the competition from new shipbuilding nations more efficient ships have to be produced in shorter time. Today's ship design processes still follow a "trail and error" methodology unsuitable to cope with this market's growing demand. Considering this a critical limitation to shipyards' competitiveness, major players of the European shipbuilding community contribute their expertise so as to significantly improve their design approach. Focusing on geometric modelling and hydrodynamic analysis as the two decisive components, a new "functional design" process will be introduced which allows the efficient generation, systematic variation, effective flow analysis and rational evaluation of ship hull forms. Aiming at hull form optimisation at both the early and the refined design stage, innovative parametric modelling techniques will be developed, established numerical solution methods will be enhanced and existing optimisation procedures will be supplied. An open and modular system integrating all necessary tools will be implemented and applied at model basins and shipyards.


The purposed project intends to contribute to two major objectives:

  • Improvement of the global quality of ships designed and build in Europe, with respect to the ships' transport mission (higher, speed, comfort, safety...) and environmental impact (lower energy consumption, reduced risk of damages to the environment).
  • Increase of European shipbuilding competitiveness in order to successfully contest ship production sites benefitting from low labour cost and currency devaluation.

This will be accomplished through a tangible increase of design efficiency, through two main technical objectives:

  • Considerable decrease of the time required for early design, in order to to achieve the aim of one week ship design objective needed by shipyards to make competitive bids,
  • Significantly improve refined shape optimisation based on the integration of parametric holl modelling techniques and advanced flow simulation methods within a new "functional" design process.

Description of work

The work will consist of developing, implementing and applying technologies that are prone to give European ship designers the necessary means to more easily produce and investigate a substantial numbe5r of design variants, to more effectively explore the feasible design space and to more efficiently evaluate the design quality. The project is made of five work packages - three of which being oriented toward the development of key technologies (WP1, WP2 and WP3), one toward specification and application (WP4) and one toward management and exploitation (WP5).

WP1 concerns the enhancement of Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools and developement of new modelling approaches, introducing parametric techniques for shape definition and modification. In particular the representation amd fairing of complex surfaces, 3d modelling and variation if ship hull forms and geometry exchange will be addressed. Fast, flexible and accurate modelling techniques will be provided for functional design and optimisation.

WP2 aims at enhancing Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tool and grid generation methods so that they reach the critical level of automation andd performance. Two kinds of tools will be dealt with: panel codes copying non-linear free surface problems and viscous codes simmulating turbulent flows. While the panel codes will be suitable to instant use by the shipyards the viscouse flow codes shall be first introduced to the optimisation process by research and consultancy organisations and then provided for shipyard application. Several of the most wides spread European codes will be taken into account. It is not intended to undertake fundamental CFD software development but rather tu furnis the degree of automation and the response time needed for optimisation.

WP3 addresses the design process from its functional point of view, its objective being to develope new methodologies and associated software to qwuantify the behaviour of a ship - expressed in terms of suitable design criteria, e.g. ship propulsion - with respect to the variation of ship design variable, i.e. the parameters defining the hull shape. Thus, trends toward the optima and problem-specific optimal shape can be identified. 'Advanced methods of design space investigation and algorithms for automated optimisation will be made available. An open and modular system will be devised for integrating the CAD and CFD tool resulting from WP1 and WP2, respectively.

WP4 is designated to specification, integration and verification of functional design and optimisation at shipyards and model-basins providing these two main groups of end-users with the means to control the other technical activities. A number of various relevant applications and case studies will be carried out with both panel and viscouse codes.



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