StruMan - Maneuvering and control of vessels close to structures

The overall objective of the BMWI-funded joint project "StruMan" (Maneuvering & Control of vessels close to Structures) is the development of a functional demonstrator, the "Advance Maneuvering Pilot" (AMP), a novel maneuvering system for inland vessels with azimuthing drives. For the future use of highly automated or autonomous vessels, the ability to precisely maneuver them automatically is indispensable, especially for vessels with long hulls and azimuthing drives in the bow and stern.

In the sub-project "Hydrodynamic interactions of ships in the vicinity of structures", the complex hydrodynamics of a long hull with several azimuthing propulsions are considered. The aim is to develop a CFD-based (computational fluid dynamics) methodology for the calculation of maneuvering forces on ships with modern propulsion systems.

In the project, strong interactions of ships and their propulsors are investigated in different flow boundaries, e.g. bridge piers, quay walls or the bottom. A typical operating condition is the time-dependent inclined flow of the propulsor when maneuvering near structures. This significantly increases the parameter space, the complexity of the parameter study and the effort of the investigations.

In the sub-project, more efficient methods for the calculation of the forces and their structural courses are to be developed as a prerequisite for the subsequent parameter identification of the specific models of the partners. Based on the Actuator Disc (AD) and the Frozen Rotor Models (FRM), a fast and efficient CFD method for the calculation of forces on the hull and the propulsion elements (rudder propeller, pump jet and transverse thruster) will be developed. This should provide the necessary number of series calculations for the different flow conditions:

  • Ship speed
  • Shallow water effects
  • Angle of yaw

Another goal of the hydrodynamic simulation is to explore the potential of the hydrodynamic parameters of the SCHOTTEL propulsion systems under specific operating conditions.

Finally, a database of hydrodynamic parameters for ships with the SCHOTTEL propulsion system as a function of operating conditions will be created.

The global goal of the sub-project can be divided into six sub-objectives:

  • Development of a simulation model for the ship's hull without appendages for different environmental conditions.
  • Selection of a suitable method for modeling a rotating propeller.
  • Development and validation of the full simulation model for the hull with propulsors.
  • Development and validation of mathematical model for the ship with pumpjet propulsion.
  • Study of the forces generated on the ship during the backward maneuver.
  • Development of the parametric model for simulation of ship dynamics.

Project duration

09/2022 - 08/2025