[Halldale 24.01.09.] The Maritime Community’s Blurring S&T Lines

Source : Halldale(http://halldale.com)

One of the indelible impressions of the simulation and training (S&T) community this author gained during 2023 was the quickening pace of lines being blurred between the military learning (training and education) enterprise and its counterpart organizations in adjacent safety critical training (SCT) sectors.

Of particular interest, is the quickly expanding simulation envelope, with increasingly common learning technologies helping individuals and teams in the different sectors initially learn and refresh their skills. Digital twins, virtual reality (VR) and broader extended reality (XR) technologies, are among the capabilities being harnessed to provide more efficient learning outcomes.

This is the first in a series of articles to compare and contrast learning activities and their underpinning S&T foundations in military and adjacent SCT learning organizations. The maritime community’s naval and commercial shipping sectors provides a huge, initial opportunity to highlight these developments.

First up, a glimpse of the recent and planned activities in three randomly selected, diverse maritime organizations – in the naval column, the Royal Navy and on the commercial maritime side of the ledger, Samwoo Immersion and Wärtsilä.


Forward-leaning Technologies for Commercial Mariners 

The commercial maritime industry’s efforts to elevate its training to higher plateaus include different classes of ships and crew members throughout a vessel – from bridge watch standers to engineers – and key port operations personnel.

In one rapidly evolving development, as part of a South Korean government-led, national R&D project, Samwoo Immersion developed an overarching LNG (liquified natural gas) propulsion ship duty training system, and simultaneously trained professional LNG propulsion personnel through the system’s development. The program’s content provides instruction for: loading, unloading, and transfer bunkering operations between LNG bunkering vessels (ships that provide liquified natural gas to other ships for their own consumption) and ships with LNG propulsion; onboard LNG propulsion ship fuel supply training; and DF (dual fuel) engine operation training. With each detailed duty procedure, an integrated automated station (IAS) operation method, fuel gas supply system (FGSS) instruction, and accident incident education are conducted.

Samwoo Immersion plans to build and scale this education platform to help train and produce about 2,000 professional mariners annually. The company’s strategy to meet this objective calls for operating an XR-based, eco-friendly ship duty training center using its own XR-based education and training platform, SWXR CAMPUS, and operating its own LNG-related professional personnel training course. The full scope of this project is attention-getting as it is conceptually based on supporting a 100-ship LNG fleet and their 10,000 professional mariners.

Similar to flight training devices in the adjacent commercial aviation training sector obtaining regulatory agency approval prior to operation, Samwoo Immersion’s new LNG education system received IGF Code certification (international certification for low flash-point fuels on ships) from Lloyd’s Register. The company also plans to undergo the certification process for education and training centers by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of South Korea and The Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO).

David Kim, Samwoo Immersion’s CEO, reported the company has delivered the LNG propulsion ship duty training system content to domestic shipping companies (by way of KLCSM) and South Korea-based shipyards.

Samwoo Immersion's LNG propulsion ship fuel supply training consists, in part, of fuel gas supply system (FGSS)
instruction (above screen capture) and is enabled by Epic Games' Unreal Engine. Source: Samwoo Immersion.

The CEO provided the author with a further “deep-dive” on the program’s underpinning technologies noting, “This education system is the world’s first, next-generation education and training platform based on VR/XR/CBT, which enables more diverse and realistic LNG-related professional training than the existing simulator-based training system. From the perspective of shipping companies that need to train a large number of LNG professionals in a short time, they will have the opportunity to train professional crew members who can reduce costs and increase work adaptability through a very efficient and effective training system.”

Samwoo Immersion is using the Epic Games’ Unreal Engine for its VR and image generator learning requirements – and with good reasons, as CEO Kim concluded, “By utilizing the Unreal game engine and VR technology, large-scale equipment is converted into virtual equipment, and the opportunity for training is expanded.”

Of further relevance to the quickening pace of “cross-pollination” among high-risk training organizations is the use of Unreal Engine beyond maritime learning https://www.halldale.com/articles/21818-mst-large-scale-digital-twins-as-s-and-t-disruptors and https://www.halldale.com/articles/21825-cat-taking-atc-training-to-new-levels.


Blended Future and More

As Samwoo Immersion’s LNG-focused training portfolio expands, Wärtsilä also envisions change in this training sector, with Ekvall noting the future of maritime simulation will be ‘blended.’ He added, “We will see a need for the traditional systems which are out there today, but to be able to cover the volumes that will be required for up-skilling our current seafarers and train up new generations, we will see many more VR and XR applications, as well as online simulations services as a part of the blended learning ecosystem. This training will be delivered as both self-paced and self-directed but also as interactive online instructor-led classes. This will be driven by several reasons, including decarbonization and the drive for new technologies to support this, as well as the need to attract a new generation of tech savvy seafarers who will have higher wellbeing requirements. Blended is the future!”


Source : Halldale(http://halldale.com) 

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