385
1 INTRODUCTION
The polar area has been explored in the search of
minerals,oilandgasformanydecades.Itshowsthat
thisareahaslargenaturalresources.Productionand
exploration is ongoing in the Beaufort Sea, the
GreenlandSea,theNorwegianSea,theBarentsSea,
theKaraSea,theLaptevSea,theEastSiberianSea
andtheChucksiSea.
Oil and gas developments and shipping have
grownrapidlysincethereductionoftheseaice;these
developmentsfacechallengingcondit
ions,
darknessinwinter
extremecoldness
remoteness
unpredictableweather
iceinmanyforms.
Thesechallengeshave notstoppedthedesiresto
develop the area in terms of collect
ing natural
resourcesforcommercialuse.
Thepolararea isauniqueenvironmentand itis
something that we want and need to protect from
anykindofpollution.Oilspillamongstarcticspecies
wouldbeutterlyharmful.
A disaster in these waters would create severe
environmental consequences and especially risk the
lifesofthecrew.
Theseenvironmental andlife threatening
disasters can be av
oided with adequate bridge
simulatortraining.
Reducing Risks of Arctic Operations with Ice
Simulator
J
.Koponen
A
kerArcticTechnologyInc,Helsinki,Finland
ABSTRACT: During the process of development of the Full Mission Bridge Simulator, I have come in to a
conclusion that animportant part of a successful learning process is the ability to train witha highfidelity
bridgesimulator.ThePolarareasareharshenvironmentsandtosurvivethere,onemusthavespecialtraining
andexperience.Thissurvivingmea
nsthatthepolarecosystemwillsurvivefrompollutionandthevesselsand
theircrewfromthebadjudgmentsormisconductofvesseloperators.Themostcosteffectivewaytoimprove
special skills needed in the Polar waters is to include bridge simulator training to the Deck Officers
requirements.In thi
spaper I will introducea real life situationinwhich an icebreaker assistinga merchant
vesselgetsintoa“closecall”situationandhowthiswashandled.Maritimeindustryhasn’tstudiedmuchabout
theinfluencesimulatortraininghastothenavigators. Herethema
ritimeindustrycouldlearn fromaviation
andmedicalindustry,sincetheyhavedonesomeextensivescientificstudiestoprovetheneedforsimulators.
http://www.transnav.eu
the International Journal
on Marine Navigation
and Safety of Sea Transportation
Volume 9
Number 3
September 2015
DOI:10.12716/1001.09.03.11
386
2 RISKMANAGEMENT
Many companies are now taking the risk of
commercializingnaturalresources.Shipownershave
startedtousetheNorthernSeaRouteandtheNorth
West Passage for their ships. These areas are tough
on vessels and crew. If you are new to the job and
environment,learning
ontheactualworkplaceonan
unfamiliar vessel and inanunfamiliar environment
isariskybusiness.
I believe that companies which have arctic
experience plus are using technologies and services
speciallyadaptedtoarcticconditionsaretheonesto
succeed.
Partoftheriskmanagementishavingasuitable
ship with experienced ship crew. This crew in the
near future need (from the year 2017 onwards) a
certificate for operating in the polar waters (Polar
Code). In this accredited polar code certificate
trainingprocess,thebridgesimulatorwillmostlikely
beoneoftheapprovedmethodsoftrainingthepolar
navigators.
One important point in which the simulator is
reallyusefulandsuitable,isindesigninganewport
or a production plant. In my opinion these new
designs would require a feasibility study to be
performed. To make a study with exact port
visualization,vesselsandweatherconditionsone
can
find out design mistakes and set environmental
operationallimits.
3 SIMULATOR
3.1 Whyneedasimulator?
SomeyearsagoweinAkerArcticnoticedthattheIce
Simulations were not present, and that the ones we
sawweremerelyusingiceasacolorinvisualization.
We decided that we
will create a proper Ice
Simulatorinwhichtheactualiceforcestothevessel
wouldbepresentinvariousiceconditions.Ouraim
was to create a high fidelity simulator, i.e. a
simulator that physically and functionally imitates
the real equipment and environment as well as
possible.
The simulator
is needed for different reasons:
cost, safety, easiness of teaching, efficiency in
teaching, testing of design and in finding out
operational limits. It could also be used in accident
investigations by visualizing the incident. One can
make independent analyses of the accidents or
incidents.Itispossibletocreatemany“near
miss”or
“whatif”scenarios.Simulatorcanbetailoredjustfor
yourvesselanditsoperations.
In many cases it is not possible to organize
training in a realenvironment, and arcticespecially
should not be the place where real life practicing
takes place. Simulator enables training of risky and
hazardous operations safely and operators’
insufficient skills can’t harm real nature, lives or
material. Risks on real life vessel operations are
smaller.
Simulator training is lessexpensive compared to
real vessel operations. Bridge simulator is cheaper
thanrealbridgeonavessel,andoperationalcostsare
low. Service and maintenance is
less demanding.
Timeaspectisalsofavorableforsimulator,theactual
place and a mission where the skills need to be
practicedcanbesetupimmediately,andnotimeis
wastedfortravellingtothejoborassignment.
3.2 BridgeSimulator
In Maritime Institutes where the deck officers are
educated, one of the first tasks is to learn how to
navigate in darkness with radar only as the
navigational aid. This is done by using a bridge
simulator.Whenthecourseis successfully over, the
student has gained selfconfidence on handling a
VLCC,RoRooranyothervesselin
congestedwaters,
or in a challenging archipelago like we have in the
south west of Finland. Then the students study
furtherandvesseloperationsinsimulatorplayakey
part in the process of becoming an experienced
seafarer.ThisishowIwastrainedandIthinkitwas
adequate
for me at that time. These kinds of
simulators are in every corner of the world and for
sure they have bought safety in navigation and
operationsperformedatsea.
Operations in ice and below freezing
temperatures are always challenging. The vessels
should be ice strengthened and winterized and
commercial vessels
should follow the preset
procedures given by authorities of the area.
Icebreaker assistance and convoy has certain
procedures.Forapersonwhohasneverexperienced
suchthingstheonlywaytopracticeisinsimulator,
and I believe that the safe unexpected situation
trainingisonlypossiblewithsimulator.
TheIceSimulatorshouldhave:
Tailormadesimulationmodels
Accurate own ships with correct control systems
andrealequipment
Machinerybehaviorandinteractionwithice
Validatedshipandicebreakingbehavior
Dynamicicemodels
Good and tailored visual system (correct visual
observations)
Multipleshipoperations
(manybridges)
Iceloadcorrectness
Purposebuiltexercises
Portlayoutandoperationstudiespossibility
Routestudypossibility
Radar/IceradarandECDISsimulation
Navigation in ice, practical training for the
icebreakers and operations with icebreaker and ice
navigation for ice strengthened vessels would be
most useful for personnel entering ice infested
waters. The Ice Simulator development Aker Arctic
has done is aiming to fulfill these abovementioned
needsandrequirements.