Warsash Maritime Academy

Full Mission Bridge Simulator
WMA’s FMS training uses a newly commissioned Kongsberg Maritime Polaris bridge simulator with 270 degree horizontal view, which can be panned through 360 degrees and with offset views.
Control equipment replicating various vessel configurations are available including single/twin screw, single/twin rudders, bow/stern thrusters and azipods.
An extensive portfolio of ownships and database areas exists. Others can be built to order.
Independent desktop consoles can drive two additional ownships/tugs.

2 thoughts on “Warsash Maritime Academy

  1. shinichi Post author

    Merchant ship simulation at Warsash
    by Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.

    The Warsash Maritime Centre of Southampton Institute trains both deck and engineering officers for the merchant marine. It offers a two-year cadet course at the technical-school level. A principal undertaking, however, is a set of one-week short courses designed for both the qualification testing and skill enhancement of deck and engineering officers. Shipping companies regularly send deck or engineering teams of four officers to train together, to build team skills. The facility operates routinely as a revenue-producing element of Southampton Institute. David Gatfield served as my host.

    Warsash runs a rich set of simulators: an engine-room control system, a liquid-gas cargo-handling simulator, a first-class single-bridge simulator, and a coupled simulator consisting of three bridge simulators, each capable of handling a full deck-officer team, for multiship maneuvers. The best bridge simulator represents a generic merchant vessel, although the view of the ship from the bridge can be customized (via texture mapping) to represent a particular ship type or even a particular vessel. Similarly, the look and feel of the controls can be customized to a small degree, to simulate different bridge configurations.

    The visual surround, approximately 180 degrees, is generated by seven behind-screen Barco projectors. The imagery is generated with 768 × 576-pixel resolution by a set of PCs with accelerator cards. Woofers mounted under the floor do a quite convincing job of simulating engine noises for several different power-plant types; other speakers provide wind, wave, buoy, and ship-whistle noises.

    The ocean simulation provides a variety of sea states; the sea model includes tides and currents. Atmospherics, including a variety of visibility and fog conditions, are effective. An auxiliary monitor provides the function of binoculars—a higher-resolution, restricted fieldof-view image—without the aiming naturalness of true binoculars. Radar, Loran, geographic positioning system (GPS), depth (fathometer), over-the-ground speed indicator, and other instruments are faithfully simulated. Norcontrol built the simulator, which cost approximately £2 million in 1995.

    I experienced a ferryboat trip from a southern Norwegian port, at twilight. As wind speed and sea state rose, the most surprising effect was the realism of the vessel’s pitch and roll, achieved entirely by manipulation of the imagery. My colleagues and I found ourselves rocking to and fro, and side-to-side, to compensate for the ship motion. One recent visitor, a professional in ship simulation, asked the Warsash people if they had much trouble with their hydraulics. He was surprised when told there were none.

    A fascinating non-VR team-training simulator at Warsash consists of a small fleet of 1/12 to 1/25 scalemodel merchant ships navigated around a 13-acre lake with some 30 ship-handling hazards or stations. Each ship seats two persons, canoe-style. The master’s eyes are exactly at the height of the bridge. He gives oral commands to the pilot, who actually handles the controls. The ship scaling results in a seven-fold scaling-up of the natural breezes and winds.


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