Frequent Questions (FAQ)

Frequent Questions (FAQ)

It allows to, virtually, show out a present situation or one that is desired for the future, of SHIPS operating in a SCENARIO, both previously determined. This can be done with the maximum degree of realism, so as to perform a detailed empirical analysis of its behavior, especially under situations that are on the limit. Thereby founded conclusions about the technical and operational aspects of a project can be extracted. This would never be able to be observed in reality due to enormous risks and costs involved in its doings. A project can imply countless aspects that need to be verified. We can mention among others: new scenarios, port designs or important modifications to the same, new ships or operations, etc. The ships in the prearranged scenarios are subject to extreme hydro-meteorological conditions to analyze their behavior. The simulation techniques allow us to prove that capacity to safely operate ships and ports or terminals. Based on them, be able to establish its operational limitations.
Its two main tools are: hardware and software. The hardware must simulate the characteristics of a ship’s bridge as close as possible to that of a real one, with its instruments, equipment and display. But this is not enough. The most important and least tangible is the Software, which is the way a simulator will represent the REALITY of the behaviors of vessel in a pre-determined scenario. At first sight all simulators can look the same but they are truly not. Not all of them are able to do what is necessary to carry out a serious investigation task. Its difference doesn’t lie so much on what “is seen”, but with what is not seen. An old apothegm says that “not all what shines is gold” and this is truly valid for simulators. A client must not let himself be dazzled by the “special effects” that they can be shown in a demonstration. Sounds and other secondary aspects can hide the most important: the true capacity to carry out the job that the client needs. This must be done by ways of a demanding professionalism, which implies adequate Software plus a multidisciplinary team of professionals that know how to interpret the results that the Simulator “delivers”.
Basically, because: “It allows the saving of a lot of money!” A design on a paper can be, in theory, very good, but it requires to be proved practically. In theory it would be enough to use a ruler and a compass, to make a graph that represents the shape of the docks and cutting out in paper the figure of the ships, a 323 meter long vessel “enters” in a site of 360 meters. But this solution, that mathematically looks, at first view, to be correct, isn’t valid in the case of the science-art like the nautical activity. There’s a combination of many factors, where arithmetic is only one of them. Factors such as: the wind that can be gusty and/or come from random directions, the current, the distribution of containers on the decks, which would make all ships react in a different way with the same wind conditions; tugs that must maneuver in restricted waters due to the wharfs and/or because they must work in shallow waters and finally there is the human factor. What happens if the human elements delay in carrying out an ordered maneuver? The space and time they have to correct it, are they enough? And if in the middle of a maneuver one of the elements is lost, for example, when a thruster stops working, or a towing hawser is cut or the hawsers in the bow get tangled or one of the hawsers falls into the water. In these cases, the available spaces, would they allow to recover the maneuver? What does the ship do during this time? Does it change its course or its attitude? How? These questions can’t be answered by a static graph drawn on paper. Something else is necessary. A powerful tool is needed, that apart from considering the mathematical aspect, involves other sciences, such as hydrostatics, hydrodynamics, aerodynamics, resistance of the materials, structural efforts, fatigue and human behavior, among other aspects. These kinds of tools are what a real simulator provides.
As was previously said, not all simulators are the same, as all of them aren’t designed for the same purposes. The most important aspect that a client should verify, before deciding to carry out a simulation, is to determine if the simulator is prepared to do the job that is demanded. The more sophisticated a simulator is, the closer it will be to emulate reality. But that sophistication mustn’t be subjective; on the contrary, it is and must be highly objective, so that the client knows exactly what service he’s being offered. In the same way, as in other spheres of professional tasks, there are certification rules that guarantee what the simulator “can do” or “can’t do” for the client. Fundamentally it must assure that the same complies with the rules set out in the “STCW/95″ (*) with respect to the nautical simulation. (*): (International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers). The prestigious classification society, most recognized internationally, is the Norwegian Society “DET NORSKE VERITAS” (DNV), which has issued the document: “MARITIME SIMULATOR SYSTEM” Standard for Certification No. 2.14″, in October 2007. There the classification for ship’s maneuvers simulators is defined in the following big groups:
  • – Class A: [“Full Mission”]: Ship’s navigation and maneuvers simulator, apt for reproductions in all types of waters, including the most sophisticated maneuvers in close waters. This means that it simulates all the effects to which a ship sailing in a channel or shallow waters (for example: considering the effects: edge, of banks; squat; etc.) is subject to. The currents are established with different values in the entire scenario, in intensity and direction.
  • Class B: [“Multi Task”]: Ship’s navigation and maneuvers simulator, that DOESN’T have the capacity to maneuver in shallow waters.
  • Clase C [“Tareas limitadas”]: Limited simulator, that only represents simple situations. It’s useful to teach at maritime / naval schools.
  • Class S: [Special Tasks]: Specifically designed to train in special tasks
This seems to a trivial question but, it truly, isn’t. The proprietorship of the capability to develop its own scenarios and ships, allows the supplier of these services, to “customize” to the client’s desires and modify them as the simulation takes place, based on the results that are being obtained all along the trials.
In this sense the client must be well assessed and in time, so as not to find himself with unpleasant surprises, once he has decided to carry out the simulation.
The interpretation of the data given by the simulation must be correctly deduced. The correct assessment will depend in a greater scale to this factor, which must not be underrated at the moment of the decision with who to carry out the verification of your project. It’s been ten years since SIPSA has been working on the maritime and riverine simulation and today it can exhibit a portfolio of clients that can testify to the quality of the service that was provided to them. It has a cross-curricular team of personnel made up of: naval officers specialized in simulation; pilots; naval assessors; naval engineers; hydrographers, experts in graphic maritime design, to do their job with maximum professionalism.
Be careful with the service they offer you. Don’t be “dazzled”. Be well assessed. Ask. Not all simulators in the market are the same and you may be buying a problem instead of a solution. If you finally don’t obtain the quality that you’re needing, what was it worth? Think and take care of your money.

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