NTNU′s research vessel, R/V Gunnerus, was put into operation in spring 2006. Photo: Per Harald Olsen/NTNU

NTNU′s research vessel, R/V Gunnerus, was put into operation in spring 2006. Photo: Per Harald Olsen/NTNU

COLLABORATING ON BUILDING A DIGITAL TWIN OF THE RESEARCH VESSEL R/V GUNNERUS

Digitread is participating in a student project in which a digital twin of NTNU’s research vessel R/V Gunnerus will be built. The purpose is to create a model that NTNU can use in teaching, but which can also be used to develop new data-driven services in the maritime industry.

The project, which starts this summer, has been initiated by DNV GL and NTNU, which already enjoy extensive joint cooperation. The idea of making a digital twin came up at a meeting between DNV GL and NTNU where they discussed digitization. Both parties will gain many opportunities and great value associated with a project like this:

BJØRN EGIL ASBJØRNSLETT
professor at the Department of Marine Engineering at NTNU

OLE CHRISTIAN ASTRUP
Research Scientist at DNV GL

STEINAR LÅG
Research Scientist at DNV GL

“If we get a digital twin of R/V Gunnerus, then we get an object that the students can follow through their study. The data from this object can also be included in many different study courses, where we can, for example, use them to explain how different sea conditions affect the vessel’s speed and operations. Using digital twins and the data from these in study context in this way will surely become a natural part of the students’ everyday lives,” says Bjørn Egil Asbjørnslett, Professor at the Department of Marine Engineering at NTNU.

DNV GL works a lot with digitalization at its maritime research department. They think the experiences from the student project could prove useful in another project they are working on:

“We are running a project called Approved. The goal here is to develop a digital standard for the exchange of information and digital models between shipyards, designers and class companies. We need to develop a methodology for organizing data so that we can reuse them, but also compare data from one ship to another. Then we need to make sure that the sensors on both ships represent the same information. This involves a lot standardization and is important for our work. The students’ work on the digital twin will touch areas that are close to the Approved project. We certainly believe that we will have made a lot of progress once the students have worked on this project for a while, “asserts Ole Christian Astrup, Research Scientist at DNV GL.

Project launch this summer
A pre-project has been carried out to get a better overview of R/V Gunnerus and to discover what sensors and sensor data they can pick up. But it’s only now this summer that the project will get underway:

“We will have five or six summer students working on this project. In mid-June we have a day where both students and representatives from DNV GL and Digitread will board R/V Gunnerus and join a small tour. The purpose will be to gain an insight into, and get to know, the vessel and the systems on board. Then they will also see how the systems work in real life. Some of the students will then actively start working on the 3D model itself. Other students will look at how they can link information structures and data sources to the 3D model. Among other things, they will use DNV GL’s information models. In autumn, the students will also describe how the results of the project can be used in the study as a kind of learning platform at NTNU”, explains Asbjørnslett.

The students who are going to develop the 3D model of R/V Gunnerus will work with Digitread and get help from Digitread’s experts to develop the 3D model using Siemens NX. This initially applies to the hull, but eventually will also include components like machine and thrusters. Some of the students have used NX before, while others will need basic training.
“This is just one part of the project, the other part is about linking all other data sources to the 3D model, such as machine parameters, documentation and sensor data. The students working on this will be based on site at DNV GL premises,” says Steinar Låg, who is also a Research Scientist at DNV GL.

A special project
What makes the project particularly special is that there are three parties cooperating on it, each has different starting points but a common goal.

 The students gathered at Digitread premises in Sandvika. From the left: The students Lars Oftedal Bjørum and Katarina Staalesen, Torben Stachowski, Technical Lead Shipbuilding Naval Architect in Digitread, CEO of Digitread Magnus Normann, student Petter Rølvåg, Sönke Hoppe and Magnus Borgersen also representing Digitread. Johan Fredrik Alvsaker was not present when the picture was taken.

The students gathered at Digitread premises in Sandvika. From the left: The students Lars Oftedal Bjørum and Katarina Staalesen, Torben Stachowski, Technical Lead Shipbuilding Naval Architect in Digitread, CEO of Digitread Magnus Normann, student Petter Rølvåg, Sönke Hoppe and Magnus Borgersen also representing Digitread. Johan Fredrik Alvsaker was not present when the picture was taken.

“This collaboration makes it possible to put in place much of the digital twin during one summer, none of the three of us probably would have been able to do the same job alone in such a short time without collaboration. The objective for the summer is to have a 3D model that can be visualized, but also that the components on board are linked into an information model that in one way becomes the “live simulation” throughout the digital twin. This is of particular interest to us, because you can use tools that showcase R/V Gunnerus, but at the same time ask for additional information, for example, related to the systems. What rules DNV GL has for a particular component can also be searched. Different log-in registrations will also be able to be logged into the same model, and reports will be linked to the correct components,” explains Astrup.

R/V Gunnerus can be used as a platform for new student assignments, to collect new data and to analyze them. Perhaps also compiling data in completely new ways, which can give new insights into R/V Gunnerus’s state. The Department of Marine Engineering is working on making simulation models for different systems on board. Logging in real-time data will also allow them to calibrate and compare these models with real data.
“This summer job is just the start. We look at this as the beginning of a long-term and productive cooperation with NTNU. What we are developing can eventually be expanded and used with other applications, such as simulations, structural analyzes, or on state-based monitoring,” adds Låg.

R/V Gunnerus is extended
This fall, R/V Gunnerus will be extended, and the extension will be implemented into the models. At the same time, the team will also use this opportunity to embed wiring for a sensor network into the real R/V Gunnerus.
“At the end of the summer we will probably be part way towards a 3D model but making a full digital twin will take longer. There are many things that need to be done, including finding solutions for how to retrieve data, how to store them and how they can be made available for analytical purposes. What is important about what is happening this summer is that it will be a very good start. We are very pleased that both Digitread and DNV GL are working together with us, but also that Larsnes Mek, Polarkonsult and Rolls Royce Marine are supporting this project,” Professor Asbjørnslett concludes.

PUBLISHED: June 19th 2018