The joint research project “AGaPaS” (Autonomous Galileo-supported Rescue Vessel for Persons overboard) aims to significantly raise the chances of survival for people who have gone overboard. Its main objective is to develop a self activating, partially autonomously operating rescue system, able to search, find and rescue a drifting person [1]. A crucial part of the system is a remotely operated vessel, which is released by free fall from a mother ship. This type of launch offers a minimum response time but comes with the disadvantage of high loads for the rescue vessel and its equipment. A particular challenge is posed by the catamaran shaped hull, being dropped from a cruising ship. The goal is to find an optimum in the occurring accelerations and pressure loads applied to the hull. While the pressure loads have a direct impact on the strength of the hull, the accelerations mainly affect the boat equipment and its mountings. The hull optimization has already been conducted [2], therefore, this publication focuses on the identification of favourable launch parameters. Within the scope of this investigation crucial parameters such as cruise speed, drop height and launch angle are varied. All free falls are analyzed by means of computational fluid dynamics (CFD), whereas selected cases are validated by experimental data.

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