Modeling and Simulation of Harsh Environments

Modeling and Simulation of Harsh Environments

The advanced simulation capability available at the Centre for Marine Simulation provides researchers with a valuable tool to conduct controlled studies in a ship board environment that are impossible or expensive to conduct with sea trials.

Research topics that are especially suited for marine simulation include:

  • human factors studies
  • ship systems
  • simulator design
  • curriculum design

The simulation capabilities at the Centre can augment the capabilities of other research units in Newfoundland and Labrador and elsewhere by providing vital information on ship operations. The Centre for Marine Simulation’s particular focus of research is the modeling and simulation of harsh environments.

The objective of this research is to improve the safety and efficiency of offshore operations in harsh maritime environments through the development of innovative modeling and simulation capabilities focused on reducing human error. It addresses an industry demand for more accurate, innovative and reliable solutions to human factor challenges within the design and delivery of training programs for harsh environments (with a specific focus on ice management).

The Centre works with various organizations, both national and international, to improve simulation capabilities to support the related research, to develop the necessary numerical models to permit realistic simulations to be conducted, and to enhance the understanding of the key human factor issues such as cognitive performance (e.g. decision making under stress), ergonomics (the man-machine interface) and organizational factors (e.g. procedures).

Effects of Motion Sickness

Human performance has been shown to decrease as Motion Sickness (MS) increases (Bos & Bles, 2000). Thus it becomes important to prevent or mediate symptoms of MS in order to maximize performance efficiency and operator well-being.

During a major NATO exercise in 1997, approximately one-half of 1025 naval subjects reported mild and moderate MS symptoms for sustained periods of time during operations in high seas, while the other half did not report any MS symptoms at all (Colwell, 2000a).

Those subjects in the group with mild and moderate MS symptoms reported substantially higher severity of problems with cognitive and physical performance, and with task completion than those with no MS symptoms. The types of problems reported and the potential consequences in terms of reduced operational effectiveness were sufficiently serious that these trends should be investigated in more depth (Colwell, 2000b).

The Centre for Marine Simulation aims to build on this previous research through its current research project entitled ‘Effects of Motion Sickness’. CMS, in collaboration with Memorial University’s School of Human Kinetics and Recreation and through support from DRDC, plans to focus on evaluating and correlating changes in body core temperature with respect to motion sickness.

The objectives of the work are to:

  • Compare body temperature changes in individuals who are susceptible and individuals who are not susceptible to motion sickness as induced by:
    • provocative laboratory device and
    • ship motion simulator.
  • Investigate the effects of selected classes of anti-motion sickness drugs in suppressing motion sickness induced changes in body temperature.