While in aerospace and automotive industry, airplanes and cars are built in quantity, in maritime industry ships and offshore platforms are built uniquely such that even sister ships can be significantly different from each other. Hence, building a full scale prototype to test, verify, and demonstrate effectiveness of new innovative solutions, is not an option in maritime sector. Model testing and simulation of separate modules have been practiced in many applications successfully, however, capturing the complete interaction of different modules in a maritime system is not straight forward. To best of our knowledge, the modeling and simulation of a maritime system to the extent where the complete system, including the mutual interactions, is not accomplished yet. A maritime system incorporates a wide variety of components from different engineering fields and in order to develop a simulation framework for such a complex system, an interdisciplinary effort is needed from different branches of science including but not limited to hydrodynamics, machinery and power systems, structural engineering, navigation and control. This paper aims to introduce a joint effort from different research institutes, universities, and industrial partners to shed a light on the different issues in virtual prototyping in maritime systems and operations. It summarizes some of the available frameworks for virtual prototyping, and ends with a numerical simulation of a generic hull model coupled with propellers, propeller actuators, DP controller, thrust loss calculations, wind, waves and current, performed with the current implementation of our Virtual Prototyping Framework (VPF).

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