For numerous offshore operations, wave induced vessel motions form a limitation for operability: Installation of wind turbines, removal and placements of top sites on/from jackets, landing of helicopters etc. can only be done safely in relatively benign wave conditions. In many cases the actually critical phase takes no more than some tens of seconds. An on-board prediction of vessel motions would enable crew to anticipate on these near future vessel motions and avoid dangerous situations resulting from large ship motions. This paper presents results from a field campaign in which non-coherent raw X-band navigation radar data was used as input for a procedure that inverts the radar data into a phase resolved estimation of the wave elevation. In combination with a wave propagation and vessel response model, this procedure can compute a prediction of phase resolved vessel motions, some tens of seconds up to minutes into the future, depending on radar range and sea state. We compare predictions obtained this way with actual measurements of a well intervention vessel that were obtained during a sea trial performed at the North Sea. It was concluded that the method results in very accurate predictions: correlations between 0.8–0.9 were obtained for predicted ship motions of/around the COG and the vertical motions of the helicopter deck.

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