Military sea basing operations include mooring ships together offshore and transferring cargo and equipment between them. A newly developed Environmental and Ship Motion Forecasting (ESMF) System will facilitate these operations by providing predictions of ship motions in waves. Coherent forecasts of the ship motions are provided through remote sensing of the ambient waves and using these waves as input to a predictive ship motion simulation. Key technologies developed in support of the ESMF system include: a custom-built wave sensing radar; a least squares inverse wave retrieval algorithm; a ship motion model for performing rapid seakeeping simulations; and a robust peer-to-peer system architecture. The ESMF system was tested extensively in a demonstration aboard the R/V Melville with very good results, often achieving correlations of forecast-to-realized signals of better than 80% over 30 minute intervals.

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