Artemis Technologies, which is leading a program to develop a new class of zero-emission high-speed vessels, has relocated its mechanical hardware-in-the-loop (mHIL) simulator to Northern Ireland, where the vessels are to be developed. The company says it will use the mHIL simulator to streamline the development process and prototyping of its eFoiler electric propulsion system.
Company CEO, Iain Percy, revealed the installation of the simulator ahead of the upcoming America’s Cup yacht race, of which he is a four-time veteran. “We originally built the simulator for Artemis Racing taking part in the America’s Cup, and are hugely excited to bring this incredible technology to Northern Ireland. There is nothing else like this in the world, it’s the most advanced of its kind, and it’s right here. Behind the device is all our collective learning, over 10 years and hundreds of millions of pounds in investment, learning about the marine environment and how vessels operate in that environment. The result is when we want to test something new, like a zero-emission vessel, we can confidently do that.”
The mHIL simulator features a 4.5m-high, 210° screen, which conveys images from three laser phosphor projectors, wrapped around a physical platform similar to those used for flight and motorsport simulators, providing an incredibly immersive experience.
It forms part of Artemis Technologies’ roadmap to creating a high-tech maritime innovation hub in Northern Ireland and will be an integral part of the digital twin of the zero-emission workboat and ferry projects with support from the Belfast Maritime Consortium.
Percy explained, “With the Belfast Maritime Consortium, we are trying to create a number of world firsts: the first-ever zero-emission high-speed fast ferry. As this has never been done before, by definition you need a digital twin. It is a representation of all the same physical forces you experience on the water, including the wind, the waves, the boat itself and how it performs. Out of that, we create a digital environment where we can test new equipment, we can train crew and improve the whole system, without actually having to build anything.
“The net result of a digital-twin manufacturing environment is huge productivity gains. Where you used to have to produce a number of different prototypes followed by learning from your mistakes, now you can literally test tens of thousands of prototypes in the digital world to arrive at the optimal solution, before you have to make anything physical. The power of the digital twin is lower cost, better product, reduced waste, in a shorter time.”