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For the successful transfer of survival craft operational data and modeling techniques leading to the validation and commercialization of software that simulates safe marine training environments
Evacuation by lifeboat is part of the emergency response plan of virtually every offshore petroleum installation and ship in the world. It is therefore important that offshore and marine industry personnel are competent to launch, operate, and recover both survival and rescue craft in the weather conditions that prevail during operations, including rough weather. However, safety drills in even moderately rough weather are problematic because the drills themselves pose an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of trainees. Even in calm weather, drills are limited because most systems are designed for launching but are very difficult to recover, or retrieve. As a consequence, personnel are not adequately trained to launch, operate, and recover survival and rescue craft in a range of weather conditions.
In 2002 the "Prototype Survival Craft Training Simulator" project was started - the genesis of the current VMT training simulators. The idea for a simulator was borne from the experimental work being carried out by NRC-IOT and Memorial University, with the objective of developing a full mission, real-time simulator to permit realistic training for the launching and recovery of survival/rescue craft from ships and offshore structures.
The main contributions from the NRC's Institute for Ocean Technology Antonio Simões Ré were in the areas of numerical hydrodynamic and evacuation models, as well as in the validation of those models through data and techniques collected during model and full-scale trials of evacuation craft. The success of this project led to the creation of Virtual Marine Technology, which holds the exclusive, world-wide license. The company employs 20 people and expects sales of $15 million (Can) with ninety percent of these sales to foreign markets.