Offshore operations in ice-covered waters are drawing considerable interest from both the public and private sectors. Such operations may involve a requirement for vessels to keep position during various activities, e.g. lifting, installation, crew change, evacuation, and possibly drilling. In deep waters, mooring solutions become uneconomical and therefore dynamic positioning (DP) systems are attractive. However, the ice environment is highly variable with ice features ranging from mild pack ice to pressure ridges and icebergs. This paper focuses on level ice as one of the primary ice types for DP operations in cold waters. The paper presents two major contributions: experimental and numerical. The experimental part is devoted to the description of ice model tests performed at the large ice tank of the Hamburg Ship Model Basin (HSVA) in the summer and autumn of 2012. Experimental design, instrumentation, methods and results are presented and discussed. The numerical part presents a novel model for simulating DP operations in level ice. In the modelling, the vessel and the ice floes are treated as separate independent bodies with 6DOF. The fracture of level ice is calculated on-the-fly based on numerical solution of the ice material failure equations, i.e. the breaking pattern is not pre-calculated. The numerical model is connected to the DP controller and the two systems interchange data dynamically and work in a closed loop. The structures of the models as well as the physical and mathematical assumptions are discussed in the paper. Furthermore, several ice basin experiments are reproduced in the numerical simulation and the results of the physical and numerical tests are compared. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, both accurate ice basin tests of DP in level ice and high fidelity simulations of such experiments are novel and have not been published previously.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.