Virtual reality for maritime industry
Fire on a ferry: when it comes to an emergency at sea every second counts. A thoroughly planned safety strategy is of great importance for the well-being of passengers and crew. In the POWER-VR project situations like the evacuation of a ship are realistically simulated and thus can be evaluated in an optimal way.
For this purpose scientists make use of deck plans, the simulation of flight behaviour and of a 3D model. They intuitively and intensively analyse the results in order to be able to draw conclusions on the potential of virtual reality for shipbuilding and especially for safety on board. In the course of POWER-VR experts examine different possibilities for an effective integration of virtual reality into processes of product development in shipbuilding. Experiences from other industry sectors, like e. g. automotive industry, cannot easily be transferred to shipbuilding. This is due to the considerably higher amounts of data occurring in the 3D modelling of a ship but also to development processes focussing on unique copies and small series, and the still rare use of 3D technologies – especially by suppliers.
The scientists focus on the examination of concrete application scenarios – either with the help of a common design review, through safety matters or the use of virtual reality models for training. Fraunhofer IGD cooperates with shipyards, suppliers, software providers and research centres, and works on the integration of the new applications into the already existing systems. Thus, ship owners can e. g. complete their data with new information without the need to install a completely new system. The scientists test their solutions in the shipyards and with the suppliers in order to provide access to the results for the whole shipbuilding industry. Consequently, the 3D models do not only have to serve as visual displays of a ship but also have to answer complex questions. The POWER-VR project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology (BMWI) with 5.4 million Euros.
In the subproject POWER-VR Rescue Fraunhofer IGD builds a bridge to the use of augmented reality. Virtual technologies are employed in the field of equipment so that ship owners can evaluate new rescue resources for the retrofit version with the help of a prototype – directly in the context of the already existing ship.