David Bourne: Adjusting the rudder

David Bourne: Adjusting the rudder

Maths and ship maneuverability

Before a newly designed ship is seaworthy, there is a lot of checking to do. Is the ship capable of maneuvering well? MARIN, the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands, links hydrodynamic research to the maritime industry.

At their laboratories maritime constructions such as ships and oil drilling platforms are tested for safety, efficiency and performance. One of the important aspects is the maneuverability of ships. This is currently determined by measuring the forces on a model of the ship while it moves through the water. The results are translated into large systems of equations, which can be solved on the computer. These computer simulations are very timeconsuming. Is there an easier and faster way to solve these equations? That's the challenge that MARIN brought to the Study Group Mathematics in Industry in January 2011.