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L&R – A zonal CFD approach for fully nonlinear simulations of two vessels in Launch and Recovery operations

The L&R project is a close collaboration between four universities (Plymouth University - PU, University of Oxford, The Manchester Metropolitan University - MMU, City University London - City) working together to combine and apply their expertise to different aspects of the problem.  The aim of the proposed project is to develop an accurate and efficient numerical model that can be applied routinely for the analysis of the motion and loadings of two bodies in close proximity with or without physical connection in high sea-states. The efficiency of the code will be achieved firstly by adopting a zonal approach, in which an integrated NWT employing a hierarchy of flow models from FNPT to incompressible/compressible NS equations for the specific flow problem will be developed. Secondly, a massively parallel implementation that targets emerging high performance computing architectures will be developed. As an integral part of the project a complementary experimental programme will be conducted in the COAST laboratory at PU, providing improved understanding of the underlying wave and body dynamics, and validating the new numerical model. 


The proposed new numerical tool is designed to simulate the complex nonlinear interactions of the problem and is a novel alternative to current practice based on linearised approximations with severe limitations in high sea states.  Together with the unique experimental datasets to bring further insight to the complex interactions and to validate the numerical tool, in the long-term, this new work will enable the safety of manoeuvres at sea to be improved and possible future development of real-time simulation tools and automation of operations. 


The Project Objectives are:

1. Develop models for interfaces between domains and adapt the integrated NWT model for the target flow problem involving two vessels in high sea-states.

2. Develop overset meshing tools and adapt the integrated NWT model to consider launch and recovery of one vessel from another.

3. Develop nonlinear wave absorbing models and test the ability of the integrated solver to reduce the effects of wave reflection on the incoming wave.

4. Run a series of carefully configured wave tank tests for validating the developed CFD model.  Data will be made openly available to other projects.

5. Massively parallelise the code to run on clusters of both multi-core CPUs and GPUs. 

6. Develop tools for hydro-elastic interactions: rigid, semi-rigid and compliant.

7. Use international standards for simulation coordinate systems and provide an interface to allow the developed CFD codes to take part in a wider scoped simulation, e.g. where the small craft is modelled using third-party software.