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Partnership between Sapura and Coppe/UFRJ launches PLSV simulator

The Ocean Technology Laboratory team and structure at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) will conduct research on the mechanism for the next three years in order to enhance Brazilian technology production in the area

Rio de Janeiro, Sept. 6, 2023 – Sapura, in partnership with the Ocean Technology Laboratory (LabOceano), launched its PLSV (Pipe Laying Support Vessel) Simulator this afternoon. The simulator is a vessel designed to aid in the support, installation, and deployment of flexible pipelines. The equipment is capable of replicating daily navigation situations within the company’s fleet with great precision.

The simulator was developed in the past three months by conducting visits to Sapura Ônix, the company’s PLSV vessel, to obtain information and design data. These were utilized to support various activities, including necessary engineering, 3D modeling of the vessel, adaptation of the simulation room, hydrodynamic modeling of the hull, and creation of azimuthal controls.

The facility consists of three distinct rooms. The first room houses the PLSV simulator, and it is notably the largest among the three. This room boasts seven horizontally positioned televisions, cleverly arranged to offer a broad viewing angle of 225 degrees. In the second room, we find another set of seven televisions, but this time they are oriented vertically, optimizing the view in that specific direction. This setup provides a horizontal angle of 150 degrees, perfectly suited for simulating scenarios involving tugboats. The third room serves as the nerve center for simulation control. It is equipped with microphones for communication and cameras for visualization. This room provides operators with all the essential views required for each vessel simulation, facilitating active communication with the other rooms. Operators in this room have the power to control various environmental factors, including weather, time, visibility, sea conditions, wind, and current. Additionally, they can introduce non-playable character ships and routes into the simulation, elevating the realism of marine traffic scenarios in the area. To complete the immersive experience, the designated space for the Sapura project is adorned with captivating ship imagery, adding to the overall ambiance and ensuring an immersive user experience.

For the project’s lead researcher, Claudio Coreixas, this is a significant step forward for the sector, given the small number of national simulators available in the country, as well as the improvement of techniques for obtaining vessel coefficients and thus increasing the portfolio of available simulations. Coreixas also emphasized that partnerships with companies in the industry are essential, as researchers have very limited access to this type of vessel.

According to Sapura’s COO, Ricardo Bicudo, the simulator will help train new commanders and other maritime officers to enter Brazilian ports such as BANIT, BAVIT and Açu with extreme skill. This goes hand in hand with a wind and current prediction project to aid decision making and prevent maneuvers from being canceled during the operation, calculating through neural networks the values and directions of wind and current in the coming hours and the probability of success.

“Practical training in a simulated environment is crucial for vessel entry, exit, berthing, and unberthing operations. Immersing ourselves in a simulation scenario allows us to improve our workforce in complex operations that leave no room for error. It is a significant achievement for us. We are constantly seeking out new technology and ways to collaborate with universities. Our current project involves working with the CNPQ laboratory to create a simulation environment that can assess and train the handling and navigation of offshore ships in terminals and their access routes”, the COO stated.

The CEO of the company, Rogerio Salbego, attended the launch. Representatives from UFRJ, Petrobras, and the Brazilian Navy were also in attendance.

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