Multi-body Dynamics Simulation and Analysis of Wave-adaptive Modular Vessels

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Virginia Tech

Catamarans provide vast deck space, high thrust efficiency, and excellent transverse stability, however, in rough conditions they can be susceptible to deck slamming from head seas or bow diving in following seas and a pitch-roll coupling effect that can lead to uncomfortable corkscrew motion under bow-quartering seas. A new class of catamaran called Wave-Adaptive Modular Vessels (WAM-V™) aims to help mitigate oceanic input from the cabin by allowing for the relative motion of components not common to classic catamaran design. This thesis presents a set of multi-body dynamics simulation models created for two active WAM-Vs™ along with analysis on their suspension characteristics. Both models provide conclusive and realistic results, with the final model being validated against on-water testing data from a 12-ft unmanned prototype WAM-V.

The first of these simulations serves primarily as a tool to evaluate WAM-V™ response characteristics with respect to a variety of parametric variations. The modeling environment is highlighted along with details of the parametric simulation and how it was created. The results fall in line with our expectations and are presented along with analysis of the sensitivity of each parameter at three longitudinal locations. The final simulation attempts to model the response of a 12-ft unmanned surface vessel (USV) prototype of the WAM-V™ configuration. Testing data is collected, processed, and applied to the model for validation of its prediction accuracy. The results of the sea tests indicate that the simulation model performs well in predicting USV motions at sea. Future considerations for testing WAM-Vs™ can include changes in suspension and mass parameters as well as limiting particular degrees-of-freedom by making their joints rigid.

shock mitigation, multi-body dynamics simulation, Catamaran seakeeping, suspension dynamics