Maritime simulator users from all over the world gathered in The Hague on September 26-28 for KONGSBERG UC 2017, an international maritime simulation user conference for Kongsberg Digital customers and partners.
Now in its 29th year, the KONGSBERG UC is an established meeting place for discussions covering the leading-edge of simulation technology and applications, with this year’s event attracting over 190 delegates.
A key emerging theme at UC 2017 was maritime digitalisation and its application to the world of simulation and training. With the advent of new digital solutions including KONGSBERG’s kognifai, maritime training providers have a new platform for the development and delivery of courses. Several presentations at UC 2017 shared the potential for digitalisation, from offering Cloud-based simulation to enabling a new platform for the easy administration of software licences and the sharing of simulation models and even exercises between organisations.
“Digitalisation has the potential to transform maritime training,” said Tone-Merete Hansen, Senior Vice President, Maritime Simulation, Kongsberg Digital. “kognifai enables us to look at ways to offer simulation as a service and to make content much more accessible, while for our customers it will become an enabler to introduce more efficient workflows and even offer training services and apps in the cloud. While we are not there yet, based on development so far and feedback at UC 2017, we are confident that our vision will deliver significant and tangible improvements for our simulation customers in the future.”
The application of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) within maritime training was also high on the agenda at UC 2017. An extensive simulator demonstration area provided delegates with the chance to try navigation and engine room simulators in VR while the plenary program offered presentations exploring the potential of the technology to enhance immersion for students. Alongside technical presentations covering the technology by KONGSBERG experts, Odd Sveinung Hareide, Lt. Cdr., Technical Manager Electronic Navigation at the Royal Norwegian Navy Academy gave a talk on using AR to track the eye movement and focus of navigators in simulators and at sea, and how this can be applied to improve training.
While maritime training has always been the focus at KONGSBERG’s simulation user conferences, in recent years the use of simulators for research and pre-mission planning has become more prevalent. This year the focus in non-training areas grew even further with the development of ‘Digital Twins’ emerging as an exciting new application for simulation technology. KONGSBERG reported several new developments in this area, while Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC) Academy’s Project Manager, Catina Geselschap’s presentation looked at how the heavy lift vessel operator is using its KONGSBERG simulators as a ‘Force Multiplier’ for offshore operations. She reported that simulators are enabling risk mitigation and improved safety and efficiency by applying them to explore and test challenging and critical installations in the lab, before going offshore.
“UC 2017’s packed agenda explored many of the burning issues in maritime simulation and training. While we provided delegates with a KONGSBERG technology update and features roadmap across our broad simulator portfolio, it was the participation of our customers that made it such a special occasion,” added Hansen. “A total of 20 presentations were given by our customers, covering all areas from navigation in ice waters to 3D engine room simulator modelling. But over and above the insights provided by speakers, everybody at UC 2017 was keen to take part, generating fantastic discussions and debate that will help to drive the direction of maritime training technology and delivery for years to come.”
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